Anthony Mandley is proud of the work he did with Rihanna on "Man Down," which he feels has sparked an important national conversation.
“We obviously have a huge issue to deal with as a country,” said Anthony Mandler, the director of Rihanna’s new controversial video, told The Hollywood Reporter. The video opens with the Barbados singer shooting a man who sexually assaulted her.
Although the Parents Television Council, Industry Ears and the Enough is Enough Campaign have all called the video violent, Anthony is not apologizing for it. He said the video is stirring up the controversies that he and Rihanna hoped it would.
“I grew up in the era of Madonna releasing videos and sparking controversy. I think most people are wasting this medium," Anthony explained. The 38-year-old, who has also directed videos for Usher and Christina Aguilera, said videos can be a good medium of messages.
Rihanna took to BET’s "106 and Park" to say that she and the video director "decided to hone in on a very serious matter that people are afraid to address, especially if you’ve been victimized in this scenario." Actress Gabrielle Union agreed that the message was needed and took to Twitter to vocalize her support.
Since its premiere last Tuesday, "Man Down" has had more than 12 million views on YouTube. Anthony, who claimed that he and Rihanna held back so people wouldn’t overreact, is describing all of the outrage as a " knee-jerk."
— Myeisha Essex