R&B singer Rihanna has defended a controversial music video that shows her gunning down a man, saying it is a message of empowerment for girls. The singer responded to criticism from the Parents Television Council which claimed that the clip ‘accepts murder’.
“‘Man Down’ is a song about a girl who committed a murder that she regrets and is completely remorseful about it. We needed to go back to why it happened, because obviously she’s not a cold-blooded killer,” she explained.
“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 victimised in this scenario.”
Rihanna went on to insist that the video actually promotes a positive message, encouraging young girls to “be careful” and remain strong in the face of adversity.
“[I have] been abused in the past, and you don’t see me running around killing people in my spare time,” she said. “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.” Rihanna previously insisted that the video for ‘Man Down’ shows the “real world” and that artists should be free to express themselves as they see fit. “Man Down” features Rihanna shooting to death a man who appears in the music video to have assaulted her a day earlier. Media and think tank Industry Ears have attacked the video as an act of calculated murder that will encourage young women to turn to violence. Rihanna told Black Entertainment Television (BET) on Thursday that “Man Down” addresses the topic of rape. The 23 year-old singer was the victim of a violent 2009 physical attack by then boyfriend singer Chris Brown. “Rape is happening all over the world and we continue to cover it up and pretend it doesn’t happen,” Rihanna told BET 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.”