It seems like Rihanna can’t release a video without someone getting upset these days, although the latest clip for her single “Man Down” has angered forces somehow even louder than fashion photographer David LaChapelle. The Parents Television Council, Industry Ears, and the Enough Is Enough Campaign have come together to “condemn” the video, which depicts Rihanna having a fun Jamaican vacation that just happens to end with her killing a guy who’s sexually assaulted her. As Rihanna tweeted, the video has a “very strong underlying message 4 girls like me”—specifically, girls who have been assaulted by guys like Chris Brown, we guess, but also just girls in general: “We're strong innocent fun flirtatious vulnerable, and sometimes our innocence can cause us to be naive!” she said, adding, “We always think it could NEVER be us, but in reality, it can happen to ANY of us!”
But whether you can call the “Man Down” video Rihanna’s pointedly strong message of empowerment to fellow victims doesn’t really matter to Industry Ears’ Paul Porter, a former BET programmer who demanded the network pull the video shortly after its premiere on BET’s 106 And Park. Calling it “an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song” that differs from most other hip-hop songs about shooting and killing, apparently, Porter said he had “never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in primetime,” arguing, “If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop.” (Fortunately even Chris Brown isn’t that self-destructive—we think.) Anyway, here’s the video so you can judge for yourself. Maybe don’t go killing anybody after it’s over.