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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2011


 

Parents Television Council Joins with Industry Ears, Enough Is Enough to Condemn Rihanna’s “Man Down” Video  

 

LOS ANGELES (June 1, 2011) – The Parents Television Council® joined with Industry Ears and the Enough Is Enough Campaign to condemn murder as depicted in Rihanna’s latest music video, “Man Down,” and call on Viacom to stop airing it. The video, which premiered on BET’s “106 & Park” on May 31, shows Rihanna in an implied rape scene with a man whom she later guns down in an act of premeditated murder.

“‘Man Down’ is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song. 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,” said Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and a former voice of BET. 

“If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop. Rihanna should not get a pass and BET should know better. The video is far from broadcast worthy,” Porter stated.

“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,” said Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents Television Council.

“To make matters worse, Rihanna went to Twitter this week to tell her fans the video contains a ‘very strong underlying message 4 girls like me.’ A graphic portrayal of the singer getting back at an attacker by shooting him in cold blood in a crowded train station and then fleeing the scene is potentially the worst possible message that could be sent.

“No one questions that female pop stars can be profoundly influential in the lives of young girls. A new study in the Journal of Children and Media serves to further underscore that point, especially among girls ages nine to 11. We call on Viacom to immediately stop airing the video,” Henson said.

“Once again BET has chosen the low road over the high road. Violence is a pervasive problem in all corners of our society and today’s youth need more positive strategies for dealing with conflict than those portrayed in the Rihanna video. This video is one among several frequently played on Viacom music video networks that lyrically or graphically glorifies violence and other behavior inappropriate for teens and youth,” said Pastor Delman Coates, founder of the Enough Is Enough Campaign.

“‘Man Down’ is a clear violation of BET’s own programming guidelines shared with the public by Debra Lee, the chairman and CEO of BET Networks. I join with the Parents Television Council and Industry Ears in calling on Viacom executives to immediately pull the video from programs that are targeted to youth and teenagers,” Coates concluded.
 

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Liz Krieger at (703) 683-5004 ext. 120.


The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

 

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