Rihanna 'Man Down' Video Draws Fire for Murdering Abuser

Pop star takes revenge on rapist in graphic video.

ByABC News
June 1, 2011, 3:06 PM

June 1, 2011— -- The Parents Television Council is condemning Rihanna's latest music 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."

The opening scene of the singer's "Man Down" music video shows her gunning down her alleged rapist in a crowded public space and then leaving the scene.

"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," said Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents Television Council in a news release. "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 and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are also blasting the video, which debuted on BET Tuesday night.

"If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop," said Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and a former voice of BET, in a news release. "Rihanna should not get a pass and BET should know better. The video is far from broadcast worthy."

Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, also slammed the video.

"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."

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

Today, 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!!!"

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.

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