Thursday, June 2, 2011

Man Down

    The music video for pop star Rihanna's newest single "Man down" off of her latest album "Loud" premiered this past Tuesday, and there is a lot of controversy surrounding it. In the video she is harassed and seemingly raped by a man after leaving a party. The following day she goes on to shoot and kill him.



It is discussed in a Jamaica Star article:
Barbadian singer Rihanna has come under fire locally and overseas for her recent video Man Down which was shot in Jamaica.
The singer shot the video for the reggae-inspired song in Portland in April, which premiered on BET on Tuesday. Since its premiere, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been blazing with comments from persons who were not pleased with the content depicted in the video.
The Man Down video opens with Rihanna shooting her male lead, Pulse model Oraine Barrett. The video rewinds to show the events leading up to the dramatic shooting. In the video, Rihanna is seen having fun in Portland mixing and mingling with persons before going to a party in the night where she encounters Barrett. The two dance suggestively before Rihanna leaves the party and is followed by Barrett. What follows next is an implied sexual assault as the singer is seemingly raped.
Before the video's premiere, Rihanna released a behind-the-scenes teaser. "I've always wanted to do a video here. Man Down is just a song that you can't do anywhere else. We need to be authentic," she said, adding, "You can't get any realer than Jamaica."
Yesterday, on her official Twitter page, Rihanna commented about the video saying, "Young girls/women all over the world ... we are a lot of things! We're strong, innocent, fun, flirtatious, vulnerable, and sometimes our innocence can cause us to be na•ve! We always think it could never be us, but in reality, it can happen to any of us! So ladies be careful and #listentoyomama! I love you and I care!"
In 2009, singer Chris Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault charges after an altercation with then girlfriend Rihanna.
In America, according to www.abcnewsgo.com the Parents Television Council is condemning the video, saying it depicts the singer in an "implied rape scene with a man whom she later guns down in an act of premeditated murder."
premeditated murder
Melissa Henson of communications and public education for the PTC in a news release said, "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."
Along with the PTC, media justice Think tank Industry Ears, the Enough Is Enough Campaign are also blasting the video. They have since called on BET and its parent company Viacom to stop airing the video.
Locally, persons were not happy with the result of the Jamaica-filmed video. According to most persons on Twitter.com, they believed Rihanna should have filmed the video in her home country. Singer Tessanne Chin expressed on Twitter, "I don't appreciate it when artistes come inna fi mi country and depict straight BS in dem videos! Go a yuh owna country go film dat not here!!!"
Another person commented on Facebook, "You know, seriously, way to shed more negative light on Jamaica. Why di hell she never go get harassed in Barbados. There was so much controversy when Drake released the video for Find Your Love, I think the name of it is. So many people had so many degrading things to say, and here she comes. And once again it has to b in ... where else? The beautiful Jamaica."
The video was directed by Anthony Mandler, who has shot many videos for the singer. Mandler was in Jamaica last year where he shot Drake's Find Your Love video which came under fire for its depiction of the island. The director later defended the video as being 'art' not meaning to present a negative image of the island. 

   I hadn't noticed the correlation between Rihanna's Man down video and Drake's "Find your love" video, until reading this article. I do not, however, believe that either video shines negative light on Jamaica. They're music videos and they both tell stories. I feel that the Man down video is important, and its real. I do not understand why anyone would have a problem with it. Lady GaGa and Beyonce can kill people in a diner for fun and no one says anything(in the telephone video), but Rihanna kills a man because he raped her and its a problem. This makes no sense. I feel that maybe it is fear. Maybe it is that rape and murder are two things that we just don't speak about, although they are happening everyday. This shows that America is a two-faced country. We say one thing but do another, so many things are "frowned down upon" but those are the things that are getting out of control.
  I like both the man down song and the video, and I don't see what the problem is.

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