The Parents Television Council wants "Man Down" to be taken down.
The nonprofit organization, which recently took on both MTV's "Skins" and Fox's "Glee" for what it deemed objectionable content, feels that the new video from singer Rihanna crosses the line.
The video for her new single "Man Down" opens with the Barbados-born singer shooting a man in the back of the head on a crowded street. The story within the clip then reveals that the character Rihanna is playing had been sexually assaulted by the same man.
After the video premiered on BET's "106 & Park," the PTC went on the offensive. The group's director of communications and public education, Melissa Henson, released a statement, saying, "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. The message of the disturbing video could not be more off base.”
Paul Porter, who co-founded the media watchdog group Industry Ears after serving as BET's programming director, joined the PTC in admonishing Rihanna.
“‘Man Down’ is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song,” said Porter in a release. “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.”
Rihanna herself took to Twitter to fire back at the groups. saying, "I'm a 23 year old rockstar with NO KIDS! What's up with everybody wantin me to be a parent?" she tweeted. "U can't hide your kids from society,or they'll never learn how to adapt!This is the REAL WORLD!"
She added, "The music industry isn't exactly Parents R Us! We have the freedom to make art, LET US! Its your job to make sure they dont turn out like US."