Rape Survivor Gabrielle Union Can Really Relate To Rihanna's Murderous Revenge Video

Illustration for article titled Rape Survivor Gabrielle Union Can Really Relate To Rihanna's Murderous Revenge Video

Actress Gabrielle Union — whom you may have seen in movies like Bring It On, Bad Boys II, and Daddy's Little Girls — has openly spoken about about being raped when she was 19, and is now an advocate for victims of sexual assault. Union recently Tweeted her support of Rihanna's "Man Down" video, and revealed that she actually fired a gun at the man who attacked her.

Durin my rape I tried 2 shoot my rapist, bt I missed. Over the yrs I realized tht killin my rapist wouldve added insult 2 injury

Union also noted: "Every victim/survivor of rape is unique, including how they THINK they'd like justice 2 be handed out." And: "The DESIRE 2 kill someone whose abused/raped u is understandable, bt unless its self defense n the moment 2 save ur life, just ADDS 2 ur troubles."

As previously mentioned, The Parents Television Council has protested the video, calling it violent and inappropriate, and asking BET and MTV to stop airing it. Paul Porter, a co-founder of Industry Ears, a think tank that supports banning the video, says: "While we all agree rape is a terrible crime, 'Man Down' offers no positive solution for rape victims except vigilante justice."


But sometimes it's not about positive solutions. Sometimes sparking a dialogue is enough. After Union Tweeted, "[The "Man Down"] video did a GREAT job of getting the ENTIRE world TALKING abt RAPE. I hope tht it leads 2 HEALING & PREVENTS RAPE," one of her Twitter followers repiled:

I work in a hospital and see the anger, sadness & confusion from victims. Thanks for letting others know that there is help and they can be strong again.

Gabrielle Union defends Rihanna's video [People via CNN]
Earlier: Rihanna Shoots Her Rapist In Her New Video

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Do we think people would have given this a pass maybe if the shooting had been done in a less, well, serious manner? As in, filmed in a way that was abstract, or if the aesthetic of the video had been overtly "ironic" or "kitschy"? You know, with Rihanna dressed in an outfit more reminiscent of her S&M video, Lara Croft-ing her way into a rapist's pimpy pad, guns blazing. Or COMPLETELY abstract using, I don't know, a water pistol and red balloons or something, I don't know. Because yeah, I can't think of another music video that has portrayed a violated, distraught, grim-faced woman stumbling down a daylit street, gun in hand, putting someone down with both regret and determination.

I've heard more than a few people say "If Lady Gaga had done this nobody would have a problem with it". Which firstly I'm not sure about, as her more controversial videos like "Judas" have earned their share of pearl-clutching. And secondly, if Lady Gaga were doing a video about murder and violence (she kind of already has with "Paparazzi") it would be abstract and weird as hell and be excused/revered/hand-waved (depending on how you feel about her) as ART.