Cultural Trends/Popular Culture

'Thelma and Louise' Marks 20 Years in Driver's Seat

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Thelma and Louise," which turns 20 this summer, is celebrated as the grande dame of female-revenge dramas. Rihanna's "Man Down" video offers something of a sequel, but has stirred more controversy.

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Video Criticized

But the Parents Television Council, a Los Angeles group that patrols popular culture for "inappropriate" entertainment, among other organizations, criticized Rihanna for not taking advantage of her celebrity and telling other victims of domestic violence to seek help instead of revenge in the form of murder.

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

The singer shot back with a response via Twitter: "U can't hide your kids from society, or they'll never learn how to adapt! This is the REAL WORLD! . . . The music industry isn't exactly Parents R Us!"

"The idea of the song is she shot a man who did violence to her, and the parents, TV counsel and the people who worry about these things freaked out because she was sending the wrong message to young girls, as opposed to say Kanye West's 'Monster' video or any other 7,000 examples of men's violence, even just in music videos," said Friedman. "I don't remember the same freak out happening when 'Thelma and Louise' came out."

The "Monster" video, banned from MTV for its vulgar content, opens with dead women hanging on ropes from the ceiling while the rap star sits on his throne. It shows eroticized murder victims laying in the same bed as West.

Interestingly enough, a negative reaction to the video from the Parents Television Council was nowhere to be found.

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Krystie Lee Yandoli is a Women's eNews editorial intern.

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