Forget the itchy trigger finger that Rihanna shows off in her new video, "Man Down" — she's perfectly capable of laying waste to her detractors when she shoots her mouth off. Or, at least, fires off a tweet or two.
The 23-year-old "Rude Boy" singer went on the attack today, after catching heat from numerous watchdog groups over "Man Down," in which she shoots a man who had assaulted her. Reacting to the outrage expressed by the Parents Television Council, Enough Is Enough and Industry Ears, the songbird took to Twitter to let the naysayers that she's not their — or anybody else's — man.
"I'm a 23 year old rockstar with NO KIDS!" Rihanna wrote. "What's up with everybody wantin me to be a parent? I'm just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!"
That was just the beginning of it. The singer went on to unleash a tirade in bursts of 140 characters or less, adding, "Cuz we all know how difficult/embarrassing it is to communicate touchy subject matters to anyone especially your parents! And this is why! Cuz we turn the other cheek! U can't hide your kids from society, or they'll never learn how to adapt! This is the REAL WORLD!"
Finally, Rihanna 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."
Reacting to the video, the Parents Television Council — whose previous targets have included "Glee" and "Gossip Girl" — tsk-tsk'd, “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."
The imagery of "Man Down" holds particular relevance for Rihanna, whose former boyfriend, Chris Brown, famously assaulted her following a pre-Grammys party in 2009. On Monday, a day prior to the video's release, the singer tweeted that the video holds a "[v]ery strong underlying message 4 girls like me!"
The singer isn't the only one who's refusing to back down in light of the PTC, et al's pressure. BET announced on Thursday that it would continue air the video despite the protests.
"BET Networks has a comprehensive set of standards and guidelines that are applied to all of our content," the company said in a statement obtained by TheWrap. "The Rihanna 'Man Down' video complied with these guidelines and was approved for air. At the same time, it is clear that the 'Man Down' video has sparked a passionate dialogue and we will continue this conversation with our audience tonight on '106 & Park.'"
This isn't the first time that the PTC has taken aim at Rihanna; the group recently condemned her duet with Britney Spears on this year's Billboard Music Awards, calling it a "Vegas stripper show."
Decide for yourself if "Man Down" is improper or empowering by watching the video below.