Rihanna's latest music video isn't as light as the subject matter in her previous videos such as, 'What's My Name' or 'Only Girl (In the World),' and it's for this reason that it's stirring a whirlwind of controversy.
The 23 year old singer portrays a rape victim in her latest video, 'Man Down,' who commits premeditated murder against her offender with the shot of a gun.
The Parents Television Council joined with Industry Ears and Enough Is Enough Campaign to condemn the video, deeming it too violent. The groups urged Viacom to stop airing the video which aired on BET's 106 & Park on May 31.
'Man Down' is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song. In my 30 years of viewing BET, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in primetime. Viacom's standards and practices department has reached another new low, said Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and a former voice of BET, in a recent statement issued on the Parents Television Council's website.
If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop. Rihanna should not get a pass and BET should know better. The video is far from broadcast worthy, Porter stated.
The groups are also angry because Rihanna has promoted the video on her Twitter account stating it has a 'very strong underlying message 4 girls like me!'
Fans, however, seem to be applauding Rihanna for showing a reality that many women have to face. Rihanna's fan @AngiellehciM states, 'it's about time about real issues are portrayed in the media.'
Another fan suggests that Rihanna's new video shouldn't be condemned but rather open conversation, stating, 'People should be discussing the situation it brings to light instead of hiding it.'
However, Pastor Delman Coates, founder of the Enough Is Enough Campaign feels that BET is taking the 'low road over the high road' in airing the video.
He stated, Violence is a pervasive problem in all corners of our society and today's youth need more positive strategies for dealing with conflict than those portrayed in the Rihanna video.
This video is one among several frequently played on Viacom music video networks that lyrically or graphically glorifies violence and other behavior inappropriate for teens and youth.
This video also strikes some personal chords for Rihanna. In 2009, her then boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, was arrested on the night of the Grammy Awards, for physically assaulting Rihanna.
In an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's 20/20 Rihanna said, I'm glad it happened to me because I can help young girls. I will say to any girl going through domestic violence, 'Come out of this. Look at it third person for what is really is.'
Rihanna was also witness to domestic abuse while growing up. Rihanna told 20/20 that her father would frequently beat her mother, once breaking her nose.
I don't want to say normal, said the singer, but it wasn't a surprise when it happened, she said about her father's attacks on her mother.
At night I would not want to sleep because I was thinking about what would happen.
Watch Rihanna's 'Man Down' video below. Tell us your thoughts on the video.