You gotta give credit where credit is due; the woman sure knows how to push buttons.
As you may have heard, Rihanna is out with a catchy new song and a shocking video to go with it. ‘Man Down’ debuted last night on BET and features Rihanna shooting a man in cold blood after he sexually assaults her.
As you can imagine the clip’s been met with a predictable response. The Parent’s Television Council howled outrage as did former BET music programmer Paul Porter. But are they missing the forest for the trees? Here’s the video and a heads up it IS graphic.
So here’s my take…
I really like Rihanna; her voice and funky sense of style appeal to me. But I’ll be the first to admit some of the things she sings about give me cause for pause and make me feel as though I’m condoning the lyrics because I’m bee-bopping along with her. But surely I can’t be the only person who wondered why, as perhaps one of the most famous domestic abuse victims in the world, RiRi would team with Eminem for a duet about domestic violence? Is it part of her healing? Is it exploitation? And now, here’s another layer with Man Down.
Now, I’m gonna be honest with you, I’ve very conflicted about this video. I don’t think the answer to violence is more violence. But when I watch the video, as Rihanna sings about the day before her attack, walking through the street with her cute outfit and carefree attitude, I can’t help but see my daughter. And God forbid she fall victim to violence! I can tell you it would take a Herculean effort and the grace of God for me NOT to take matters into my own hands if someone, in search of their own pleasure, stole my kid’s innocence. But should this be seen on TV?
My feeling is this. Man Down aired at night and on cable and yes, that does make a difference. But you know what? I WANT my daughter to see this video. Not to scare her but to make her aware. Rihanna tweeted her followers after it aired, with this warning, “We always think it could NEVER be us but in reality, it can happen to any of us.” And she’s right. If this video brings awareness to that fact, is it not worth some outrage?
Okay, time to debate. Do you think Rihanna’s video, Man Down, goes too far? Would you let your kids, your daughter, watch it? What would your cut-off age be?