Pop singer Rihanna is at the center of another controversy. Her latest public dispute has to do with her new music video entitled, “Man Down.” It features some violent imagery that has some people up in arms. The song’s title is illustrated in a very literal way when Rihanna grabs a gun and pulls the trigger on the video’s male lead.
The music video for the Reggae-inspired tune was shot in Jamaica and debuted on Tuesday. In just 24 hours it’s managed to cause a stir of conflict that no one saw coming.
In “Man Down,” Rihanna guns down a man in a busy train station. She spends a good portion of the video trying to dodge the authorities and escape persecution. The video cuts between such action sequences and the singer belting out the tune alone in a room. “Man Down” was directed by veteran helmer Anthony Mandler, who’s worked with a bevy of A-list actors and musicians.
Prior to the debut of “Man Down,” Rihanna took to Twitter and wrote that there is a “very strong underlying message 4 girls like me.” Apparently, not everyone agreed with her message. The Los Angeles Times reports that The Parents Television Council, along with Industry Ears and the Enough Is Enough Campaign are openly condemning The BET Network, the singer, and her video for the message it brings across.
Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and the former music programmer for BET said in a statement that “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 primetime. Viacom’s standards and practices department has reached another new low.” The statement continued: “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.”
Those are strong words. Do you agree with their anger? Watch the video below and tell us what you think.