Rihanna Defends Violent ‘Man Down’ Video

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Rihanna is firing back at the Parents Television Council and other groups that are criticizing her violent new music video for "Man Down."

"I'm a 23 year old rockstar with NO KIDS! What's up with everybody wantin me to be a parent?” she Tweeted Wednesday. “I'm just a girl, I can only be your/our voice! We have the freedom to make art, LET US! Its your job to make sure they dont turn out like US. U can't hide your kids from society, or they'll never learn how to adapt! This is the REAL WORLD."

BET - which premiered "Man Down" Tuesday on 106 & Park - also defends airing the video, which shows Rihanna shooting a man in the back of the head after he sexually assaulted her.

"BET Networks has a comprehensive set of standards and guidelines that are applied to all of our content," read a statement released Wednesday. "The Rihanna "Man Down" video complied with these guidelines and was approved for air. At the same time,  it is clear that the "Man Down" video has sparked a passionate dialogue and we will continue this conversation with our audience tonight on "106 & Park."

Still, the PTC and other groups are outraged.

“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,” Melissa Henson, PTC's director of communications and public education, said in a statement. “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 message of the disturbing video could not be more off base.”

Co-founder of media watchdog group Industry Ears, Paul Porter echoed that sentiment.

“‘Man Down’ is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song,” Porter explained in the same press release. “In my 30 years of viewing BET, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in primetime. (BET parent company) Viacom’s standards and practices department has reached another new low.”

Rihanna's ex, Chris Brown, pleaded guilty to felony assault against her almost two years ago.

 

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