Rihanna defiant despite ‘Man Down’ criticism

Published 03 June 2011  |  

RnB singer Rihanna has no intention of changing how she does things, despite the backlash over her new music video ‘Man Down’.

If anything, she appears bemused by all the fuss over the video, in which she kills a man in a revenge attack for her raping her.

She has defended the video on her Twitter page, insisting upon her “freedom to make art” and telling parents it is up to them, not the music industry, to raise their kids.

“The music industry isn’t exactly Parents R Us!” she tweeted.

“We have the freedom to make art, LET US! It’s your job to make sure they don’t turn out like us.”

In another tweet, she said: “I’m a 23-year-old rockstar with NO KIDS! What’s up with everybody wanting me to be a parent? I’m just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!”

Pressure groups are alarmed by the violent message of the video and the song, which includes the lyrics: “Momma, I just shot a man dead … I never been so proud.”

They want US network BET (Black Entertainment Television) , which premiered the video on Tuesday, and its parent company, Viacom, to ban the video.

In a statement, the Parent Television Council said the video was sending out the wrong message to rape victims.

“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,” it said.

“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 subject of the video no doubt resonates with Rihanna, who was assaulted by her former boyfriend, Chris Brown, in 2009. Brown received five years’ probation for the assault and was ordered to stay at least 50 yards away from the singer.

Media monitoring group, Industry Ears, said the video was an “inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song”.

“If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop,” he said.

“Rihanna should not get a pass and BET should know better. The video is far from broadcast worthy.”

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