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Rihanna and the Role of Art

Rihanna and the Role of Art

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Published by Tikvah

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Published by: Tikvah on Sep 01, 2011
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10/01/2013

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Rihanna's Murder of Rapist in 'Man Down' Video: Empowering or Dangerous?
By Hollie McKayPublished June 02, 2011 | FoxNews.comRihanna, who hit headlines in 2009 after being severely beaten by formerboyfriendChris Brown, has now come under fire for encouraging extreme violence in anew music video.In the video for “Man Down,” which premiered on the BET network this week, thepopular songstress is involved in an implied rape scene with a man she later guns downin an act of premeditated murder, and then flees the scene.However, theParents Television Council(PTC) has joined forces with the Industry Earsand theEnough Is Enough Campaignto publicly denounce the video, and the groups are urgently calling on BET’s parent company Viacom to stop airing it.“‘Man Down’ is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song. In my 30 years ofviewing BET, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder inprimetime. Viacom’s standards and practices department has reached another newlow,” Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and a former voice of BET, said in astatement. “If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, theworld would stop. Rihanna should not get a pass and BET should know better. Thevideo is far from broadcast worthy.”Viacom/BET did not immediately respond to our request for comment.Adding fuel to the fire, the 23-year-old music star eventweetedto her 5.5 millionfollowers this week that the explicit video contained, "a very strong underlying message4 girls like me."But Melissa Henson, Director of Communications and Public Education for the PTC,said that the graphic portrayal of Rihanna seeking revenge on an attacker by murderinghim in cold blood is far from an empowering or appropriate message to be sending toyoung, impressionable audiences.
 
“Once again BET has chosen the low road over the high road. Violence is a pervasiveproblem in all corners of our society and today’s youth need more positive strategies fordealing with conflict than those portrayed in the Rihanna video,” Henson explained.“This video is one among several frequently played on Viacom music video networksthat lyrically or graphically glorifies violence and other behavior inappropriate for teensand youth.”Relationship coach Marc Rudov, founder ofTheNoNonsenseMan.com, was alsoappalled by the “reprehensible video of gratuitous, confessed murder,” but indicated thatit is yet another example ofHollywood’s double standard.“She sings that she killed a man when she ‘lost her cool’ because ‘he was playing herfor a fool.’ This garbage from the same woman who publicly bragged toRollingStone recently that she likes to be spanked and tied up,” he told FOX411’s Pop Tarts.“Rihanna gets to have it both ways – accuse Chris Brown of domestic violence and beviolent herself – because she's a woman.”However, not everyone is outraged by the video.“Rihanna is able to take a stance through her music and speak to social injustices orthings that just flat out disgust her. In this new video, she channels her anger at a rapist,which for a lot of women is empowering,” said Los Angeles-based entertainment expertKelley Carter. “I don't think that Rihanna is advocating murder, I do think that she issaying it's time for women to speak up and out against abuse targeted towards women.Should she be under fire right now? No. The most important thing this new video does itthat it has opened a dialogue, and that's not a bad thing in my book.”
And here is Rihanna’s revised response to her video:
Rihanna has described her controversial new video for 'Man Down' as "art with a message".Calling into BET's
106 and Park 
, the singer responded tocriticism from the Parents Television Councilwhich claimed that the clip 'accepts murder'."'Man Down' is a song about a girl who committed a murder that she regrets and is completelyremorseful about it. We needed to go back to why it happened, because obviously she's not a cold-

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