Rihanna, the award-winning R&B star, has angered the Parents Television Council with her new video for 'Man Down'. Rihanna premiered her new video on Bet's '106 & Park' on Tuesday (31st May 2011), but the clip's themes of domestic violence, sexual assault and murder have prompted a backlash from a number of groups, reports Msnbc.com.
The video opens with a scene in which the singer is shown shooting an unarmed man in the back of the head. As the song unfolds, it becomes clear that Rihanna's character was extracting revenge after being sexually assaulted by the same man. Shortly after the video had premiered, Melissa Henson of the Parents Television Council issued a statement noting, "Rihanna's personal story and status as a celebrity superstar provided a golden opportunity for the singer to send an important message to female victims of rape and domestic violence. 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". Paul Porter, a co-founder of watchdog group Industry Ears said 'Man Down' represented an "inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song". Porter angrily continued, saying, "In my 30 years of viewing Bet, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in primetime".
'Man Down' is the fifth single from Rihanna's hit album 'Loud'. The track peaked at number 40 on the US Billboard Hot R&B Chart.