June 3, 2011 at 12:07 PM ET
After being blasted by the Parents Television Council and other entertainment watchdog groups over her latest video, Rihanna called into the same BET show that premiered the clip to defend her art.
“I don’t like to just make videos; I love to make an experience,” the singer told the hosts of “106 & Park.” “This is art with a message.”
But it was a message that was lost on Rihanna’s most vocal critics. On Wednesday the PTC joined forces with Industry Ears and the Enough is Enough Campaign to condemn the “Man Down” video, which shows the singer’s character shoot a man in the back of the head. Later in the video, it’s revealed that the man had raped the woman long before she shot him.
“ ‘Man Down’ is a song about a girl who committed a murder and she regrets and is completely remorseful about (it),” Rihanna explained during the phone interview. “For the video, we needed to go back to why it happened, because obviously she's not a cold-blooded killer. It had to be something so offensive, and we decided to hone in on a very serious matter that people are afraid to address, especially if you’ve been victimized in this scenario.”
Not that she believes the victim in her video took the right course of action.
“I personally don’t endorse violence or murder,” singer said. “(I’ve) been abused in the past, and you don't see me running around killing people in my spare time. I just really want girls to be careful. Have fun, be flirtatious, be sassy, be innocent and sweet. Be everything that you are but just try not to be naive. That's not coming from a parent, but a peer."
That’s not the moral of the story that PTC came away with.
“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,” Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the PTC, said in a statement.
What do you think? Is the video really art with a message or just graphic, small screen violence? Tell us on Facebook.