June 2nd, 2011
04:58 PM ET
Certainly you've heard the uproar by now. Following her racy performance at the Billboard Music Awards that had some questioning if it was too much for TV, Rihanna's latest music video has lit a similar match.
The singer's video for her single "Man Down" premiered Tuesday evening on BET, and by the next evening, some were calling for the network to stop playing the video altogether.
The problem, the critics say, is that her video starts off with an action that depicts the song’s lyrics to a tee – viewers see Rihanna aim, fire and shoot a "Man Down."
We then flashback to the prior day, when a red-headed Rihanna cheerfully bikes and strolls through the streets before heading to a dance club that night.
While there, she dances with a man who later turns into a threat, as the clip implies that he assaults the singer outside of the club. From there, the storyline catches up with the beginning of the video, as Rihanna races to grab a gun with which to take out her attacker.
It’s drawn the ire of the Parents Television Council, the Enough is Enough campaign and an entertainment think tank organization called Industry Ears. The music video "gives retaliation in the form of premeditated murder the imprimatur of acceptability," the Parents Television Council said in a news release.
Outside of those groups, reaction has fallen on both sides of the fence. The Frisky isn't buying her story of violent revenge for sexual assault, asking, "Is this supposed to be 'feminist' Rihanna who murders the man who hurts her? Sorry, RiRi, but I don’t think perpetuating violence is 'edgy,' even for a survivor of domestic violence."
PopDust, meanwhile, takes the stance that "this is still pop music, a storytelling medium, and...it’s presumptuous and ignorant to assume that Rihanna is doing anything but playing a character in her song and video, one that has little if anything to do with her real life or her beliefs."
In the world of Twitter, amidst the retweets of the singer's statements defending the video, there's been similar stands of support. User DiamondDogBark tells the pop star, " At the end of the day, who gives a flying s--. Ask Madonna about being nailed to the moral cross for her videos." Says user AJEllington, "So The Parents Television Council thinks Rihanna's new vid is too violent?! What PLANET are they living on? #getOVERit" while SamartiPowers offered a "NO!!!" to an MTV News question if Rihanna went too far in the video.
For her part, Rihanna has thanked her fans via Twitter for comprehending the message she says she was trying to convey.
“Thank you for the amazing response on ManDownVideo I love you guys, and I love that u GOT IT!!!” the singer tweeted. “Young girls/women all over the world...we are a lot of things! We're strong innocent fun flirtatious vulnerable, and sometimes our innocence can cause us to be naïve! We always think it could NEVER be us, but in reality, it can happen to ANY of us! So ladies be careful."
She added on Thursday in response to her critics, "This is the REAL WORLD!...The music industry isn't exactly Parents R Us! We have the freedom to make art, LET US! Its your job to make sure they dont turn out like US"
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