Actress Gabrielle Union took to Twitter to share her thoughts on Rihanna’s video. She tweeted, “Saw ‘Man Down’ by @rihanna. Every victim/survivor of rape is unique, including how they THINK they’d like justice 2 be handed out. During my rape I tried 2 shoot my rapist, bt I missed. Over the yrs I realized tht killin my rapist would’ve added insult 2 injury. The DESIRE 2 kill someone whose abused/raped u is understandable, bt unless its self defence n the moment 2 save ur life, just ADDS 2 ur troubles.” Union later explained that she thinks the video did a good job of getting people to talk about rape. However, Union is right, self-defense in the moment is the only excuse for murder. Rihanna’s video just provokes further violence as Union said, and adds insult to injury.
Rihanna’s messages can often seem contradictory as her "S&M" video proclaims that “chains and whips excite" her. Not only that, but in her song with Eminem, “Love the Way You Lie” she says “Just gonna stand there and watch me burn, but that’s alright because I like the way it hurts”. As a victim of physical abuse, it would have been better for Rihanna to take a female empowerment stance within her latest album. Instead, not only has she put her sexuality on blast, she glorified murder as well. Perhaps it’s a good thing her concert sales have been so low that they might be forced to cancel.