The director of Rihanna’s controversial new video “Man Down” isn’t apologizing for depicting the singer shooting a man who sexually assaults her.
"It’s doing exactly what Rihanna and I hoped it would do, which is shine a light on the very dark subject matter,”Anthony Mandler tells THR in his first interview since watchdog groups called for the clip to be banned from BET. 
After debuting last week, the clip for the reggae-infused pop song has been viewed on YouTube more than 12 million times, with many taking sides on whether it promotes violence or addresses the issue of abuse against women.

Mandler, 38, describes the outrage as “knee-jerk” and says it’s been too long since videos likeAerosmith’s “Janie’s Got a Gun” and Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” routinely tackled social issues.

“This medium used to be a great medium of messages,” says Mandler, a veteran video director (Jay-Z's "Run This Town," The Killers' "When We Were Young," Drake's "Find Your Love" ) who is also attached to helm the Zac Efron vehicle Die in a Gunfight for MRC and a Dracula origin story at Summit. “I grew up in the era of Madonnareleasing videos and sparking controversy. I think most people are wasting this medium.”
Watching the video, some might wonder the fuss is all about it. It’s not bloody or gory, and the assault is left to the imagination. Mandler says he and Rihanna purposely held back so people wouldn’t overreact.

“The fact that there’s an argument to ban this because this will make girls retaliate from abuse with murder is skipping over the point,” he says. “We obviously have a huge issue with abuse to deal with as a country.”

Pop star Rihanna is drawing some negative attention this week as many are angry about her controversial new video for “Man Down.”

Rihanna took to the set of BET’s 106 & Park to promote her new video, saying that it is “art with a message.” After the video premiered, the young star started receiving a lot of negative attention.

The video opens up with a man being shot in the head as the whole music video is about an abused woman who confronts her attacker in public and shoots him. As the Chicago Sun Times reports, Rihanna is defending her video by saying she wanted to create something “raw and artistic.”

The singer wanted to showcase her acting skills and the medium of a music video is what she chose. The topic is heavily controversial, but Rihanna is no stranger to abuse as she was caught up in a lawsuit after Chris Brown hit her.

Even with all of the drama surrounding the video, USA Today says BET will continue to air the video regularly. MTV has yet to show the video as the network says it is still reviewing it.

There is no doubt that many have mixed feelings on the issue, but for now the public can view the video on BET

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