Rihanna’s Man Down video has sparked fury over a scene depicting Riri shooting a man in the back of the head as he walks down the road, apparently in retaliation for raping her.
The Man Down furore has cast into the shadows the fuss made over Rihanna’s bondage-happy S&M video, and some groups are calling for it to be axed.
Man Down was broadcast on US TV network BET this week. This will possibly be the video’s only TV outing as pressure groups are now calling for Man Down to be banned.
The Man Down video begins with Rihanna shooting a man in the back of the head as he walks down the street. He is seen falling to the ground and lying in a pool of blood.
The video then jumps to the previous day, showing a carefree Rihanna in the Caribbean where she rides a bike and frolics with children amid laundry drying on a line.
Later in the day, Rihanna is seen turning down a man’s advances. He then follows her and it is implied that she is raped.
Rihanna is defending Man Down, saying that it is a message to girls to keep themselves safe.
Referring to the violence she was submitted to by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009, Riri tweeted: “Very strong underlying message 4 girls like me! Young girls/women all over the world… We’re strong innocent fun flirtatious vulnerable, and sometimes our innocence can cause us to be naive!
“We always think it could NEVER be us, but in reality it can happen
“Rape is happening all over the world and we continue to cover it up and pretend it doesn’t happen,” Rihanna said in a recent in an interview.”Girls are empowered by this … I’m just really impressed that my fans get it,” she said. “That was really important to me. This is a story for them.”
She also told BET, which itself drew criticism for airing the video, that the girl she depicts is “not a cold-blooded killer” and she shows remorse about the killing.
“I didn’t do it to make a controversial video,” Rihanna said. “I wanted to make a mini-movie, something raw and artistic.”
Rihanna has also defended the video on Twitter.
“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 don’t turn out like US,” Rihanna said in one Twitter posting.
The Barbados native also spoke of double standards that allow depictions of women being exploited in music videos. “Now a woman flips the coin & look!” she wrote.