Rihanna's Man Down music video is causing a stir amongst those fed up with violence on television. The Parents Television Council (PTC) and other groups describe the video as "an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song."
The Man Down video portrays Rihanna as the victim of sexual assault who gets revenge on her attacker by shooting him in the head. Paul Porter of Industry Ears and the former voice of BET said, "In my 30 years of viewing BET, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in primetime. If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop."
Speaking on behalf of the PTC, Melissa Henson says, "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. 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."
A sampling of Rihanna's Man Down lyrics include:
I didn't mean to end his life
I know it wasn't right
I can't even sleep at night
Can't get it off my mind
I need to get out of sight
Before I end up behind bars
What started out as a simple altercation
Turned into a real sticky situation
Me just thinking on the time that I'm facing
Makes me wanna cry
Cause I didn't mean to hurt him
Coulda been somebody's son
And I took his heart when
I pulled out that gun
Oh mama mama mama
I just shot a man down
In central station
Is the Parents Television Council right to be up in arms over Rihanna's Man Down video?
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