Rihanna Fires Back at Critics, Defends ‘Man Down’ Video
Rihanna is firing back at critics who have a problem with her 'Man Down' video due to its violent nature. The 23-year-old first responded to advocacy groups publicly expressing discontent with the video, even calling for BET and its parent company, Viacom, to pull it from the programming schedule.
No stranger to pushing the envelope, the Bajan beauty called into BET's '106 & Park' Thursday (June 2) to explain that although she is not surprised by the outrage, she is in no way glamorizing violence. "Rape is, unfortunately, happening all over the world and in our own homes and we continue to cover it up and pretend it doesn't happen," she said, referring to the video's concept, which finds her killing her attacker after he forces himself upon her. "Boys and girls feel compelled to be embarrassed about it, and they hide it from everyone, including their teachers, their parents, and their friends. That only continues to empower the abusers."
The 'Loud' creator went on to explain why the graphic scenario played out the way it did in the clip. "Making that into a mini-movie or video, we needed to go back to why it happened," she explained. "Obviously she's not a cold-blooded killer. It had to be something so offensive. And we decided to hone in on a very serious matter that people are afraid to address, especially if you've been victimized in this scenario."
Rihanna also addressed her own abusive past at the hands of former boyfriend Chris Brown. The couple broke up back in 2009, after Brown attacked her following a Grammy party. "I've been abused in the past, and you don't see me running around killing people in my spare time. I just really want girls to be careful. Have fun, be sassy, be innocent and sweet, be everything that you are. But just try not to be naive."
The Parent Television Council and the entertainment watchdog group Industry Ears were just two of the organizations outraged by the video. In a statement released on their website the PTC characterized the video as a "cold, calculated execution of murder." Industry Ears founder, and former BET music programmer Paul Porter didn't mince words in his review of the Anthony Mandler-directed video writing it off as "inexcusable," and calling the single a "shoot-and-kill theme song."
'Man Down' marks the sixth single off Rihanna's fifth album 'Loud,' which hit stores last November. All of the controversy surrounding the single appears to be paying off as the music video has been viewed over 2 million times on YouTube since its release June 1.
Watch Rihanna's 'Man Down'