In Defense of Rihanna
The director stands by video's dark subject matter.
Anthony Mandler isn't apologizing for depicting Rihanna shooting a man who sexually assaults her in the controversial new video "Man Down." "It's doing exactly what Rihanna and I hoped it would do, which is shine a light on the very dark subject matter," says the director in his first interview since watchdog groups called for the clip to be banned from BET. Mandler, 38, describes the outrage as "knee-jerk" and says it's been too long since such videos as Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun" and Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train" routinely tackled social issues. "This medium used to be a great medium of messages," says Mandler, a veteran video director also attached to helm the Zac Efron vehicle Die in a Gunfight for MRC and a Dracula origin story at Summit Entertainment. "I grew up in the era of Madonna releasing videos and sparking controversy," he adds. "I think most people are wasting this medium."