It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for Rihanna – after being embroiled in controversy over her violent Man Down video, she’s been the target of numerous rights groups for her portrayal of a rape victim who guns down her attacker.
However, the video has become so popular – largely, as we pointed out last week – due to the very people who objected to it in the first place: Rihanna tweeted earlier today that Man Down has had over 20 million views on YouTube and Vevo. By the end of last week, it was YouTube’s most viewed video.
In a cheeky ‘up yours’ to the Parents’ Television Council, Rihanna also tweeted her thanks to them for whipping up a controversy that ensured more people went online to check out Man Down! She said:
Man Down is the most viewed video on youtube this week! Special thx to PTC and #RihannaNavy
This backs up what we said last week: if the PTC’s serious objective is to caution people about the slipping standards in TV and pop culture, they’re failing miserably. I’ve noted before how they only seem to target high-profile pop culture institutions like Rihanna and [[Glee (TV Series)|Glee)]]. I’ve yet to see them complain about the graphic sex and violence on Game Of Thrones, for example. And I understand that children are more likely to be watching pop singers than medieval slayings, but the PTC’s method of campaigning is too sensationalist to make a difference.
In fact, as Rihanna rightly pointed out, they’re probably doing far more to promote the things they’re complaining about by drawing attention to Rihanna videos and sexy Glee cast photoshoots!
The leaders of the Parents’ Television Council need to go away and rethink their strategy and find ways to reframe their position. As a parent myself, I agree that pop culture is far too sexualised and also that there should be a watershed in place for pop videos that are too raunchy or violent for kids to see. However, they should never attempt to dictate what an artist can or cannot do, especially in cases like this where the serious subject of rape is being broached and needs public attention and debate. It’s actually shameful that they tried to hijack that and twist the message.