Rihanna Defends 'Man Down'; BET Stands by Video

Singer said she wanted to address a serious issue some are too afraid to face.

ByABC News
June 2, 2011, 11:13 PM

June 3, 2011— -- Singer Rihanna is defending her new controversial music video and the message behind it after several groups blasted its violent opening scene.

The singer's "Man Down" music video opens with her gunning down her alleged rapist and then leaving the scene.

"We just wanted to hone in on a very serious matter that people are afraid to address, especially if you've been victimized in this scenario," Rihanna said on BET's "106 & Park" show Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

The video debuted on BET Tuesday night.

BET will continue to air the clip, since Rihanna's video "complied with the network's" guidelines and was approved for air," the Associated Press reported.

Earlier this week, Rihanna tweeted to her fans that the video has a "very strong underlying message 4 girls like me!"

On Wednesday, she thanked her fans for their support by tweeting, "Thank you for the amazing response on ManDownVideo I love you guys, and I love that u GOT IT!!!"

Altercation with Chris Brown

In 2009, singer Chris Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault charges after an altercation with then-girlfriend Rihanna.

Brown was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community service.

In February, Brown's probation was downgraded to a restraining order that requires him to stay 10 yards from Rihanna.

In March, Brown stormed off the set of "Good Morning America" after he was asked about the domestic abuse incident with Rihanna. Brown later apologized for the incident.

Groups Slam Music Video

However, several groups such as the Parent Television Council slammed the music video.

"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," said Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents Television Council in a news release.

Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, condemned the idea of sending a message that violence should beget more violence.

"Pre-meditated murder is just as horrible and unacceptable as sexual assault, and we would hope that Rihanna and her music label would consider the potential impact of sending a message that violence should beget more violence." Helmke said. "But it is the real murder of 32 Americans every day by guns that disturbs and horrifies us most."

ABC News' Andrea Canning, Jessica Hopper and Sheila Marikar contributed to this report.