Rihanna Video Touches Off Uproar
"Man Down," a music video by Rihanna in which she appears to advocate that women who are assaulted exact murderous revenge on their attackers, has produced a storm of criticism -- directed at Rihanna for performing it and BET for airing it. Industry Ears, an advocacy group co-counded by Paul Porter, a former BET program director, issued a statement saying, "While we all agree rape is a terrible crime "Man Down" makes no positive reference for rape victims except vigilante justice." In the video, the singer, whose own assault at the hands of singer Chris Brown produced headlines in 2009, sings that she "just shot a man dead" and has "never been so proud." But she goes on "I didn't mean to end his life/ I know it wasn't right ... I took his heart when/ I pulled out that gun." The conservative Parents Television Council condemned the video saying, "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." BET, however, said it had no intention of yanking the video. In a statement, it said, "BET has a comprehensive set of standards and guidelines that are applied to all of our content," it said, "The Rihanna 'Man Down' video complied with these guidelines and was approved for air."