Rihanna has done what Chris Brown could never do. She can be violent and have no consequences. The new music video for “Man Down” depicts her being sexually assaulted by a man she met at a party. Her immediate response is the opening and ending of the video. She shoots and kills the man on camera. If she wanted to make you uncomfortable, she succeeded. Was it necessary? No. Do you understand that no woman needs to be violated? Yes. Is this the way to do it? No!
I spoke with Liz from the Parents Television Council, who told me:
“I’m starting to see a disturbing pattern in her career path, First with the romanticism of domestic abuse with Eminem in “Love The Way You Lie”, then S&M, now we have vigilantism. The message we are sending to our young It’s clear that we have become desensitized to violence on teh screen and the overs-sexual lyrics to small children. We don’t even notice.”
Today staunch opponents have come out calling BET and Rihanna to task.
The Parents Television Council® joined with Industry Ears and the Enough Is Enough Campaign to condemn murder as depicted in Rihanna’s latest music video, “Man Down”, and called on Viacom to stop airing it. The video, which premiered on BET’s “106 & Park” on May 31, shows Rihanna in an implied rape scene with a man whom she later guns down in an act of premeditated murder.
“‘Man Down’ is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song. In my 30 years of viewing BET, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in prime time. Viacom’s standards and practices department has reached another new low,” said Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and a former voice of BET.
“If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop. Rihanna should not get a pass and BET should know better. The video is far from broadcast worthy,” Porter stated.
“Rihanna’s personal story and status as a celebrity superstar provided a golden opportunity for the singer to send an important message to female victims of rape and domestic violence. Instead of telling victims they should seek help, Rihanna released a music video that gives retaliation in the form of premeditated murder the imprimatur of acceptability. The message of the disturbing video could not be more off base,” said Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents Television Council.
“To make matters worse, Rihanna went to Twitter this week to tell her fans the video contains a ‘very strong underlying message 4 girls like me.’ A graphic portrayal of the singer getting back at an attacker by shooting him in cold blood in a crowded train station and then fleeing the scene is potentially the worst possible message that could be sent.“No one questions that female pop stars can be profoundly influential in the lives of young girls. A new study in the Journal of Children and Media serves to further underscore that point, especially among girls ages nine to 11. We call on Viacom to immediately stop airing the video,” Henson said.
“Once again BET has chosen the low road over the high road. Violence is a pervasive problem in all corners of our society and today’s youth need more positive strategies for dealing with conflict than those portrayed in the Rihanna video. This video is one among several frequently played on Viacom music video networks that lyrically or graphically glorifies violence and other behavior inappropriate for teens and youth,” said Pastor Delman Coates, founder of the Enough Is Enough Campaign.
“‘Man Down’ is a clear violation of BET’s own programming guidelines shared with the public by Debra Lee, the chairman and CEO of BET Networks. I join with the Parents Television Council and Industry Ears in calling on Viacom executives to immediately pull the video from programs that are targeted to youth and teenagers,” Coates concluded.
Today, she thanked her fans for their support by tweeting, “Thank you for the amazing response on “Man Down” video I love you guys, and I love that u GOT IT!!!”
If this video stirs up your call for help make sure to reach out to RAIN. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at rainn.org, and publicizes the hotlines’ free, confidential services; educates the public about sexual violence; and leads national efforts to prevent sexual violence, improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
What do you think of the video? Take a look below and tell us what you think?