Gabrielle Union Weighs In On Rihanna’s “Man Down”

Rihanna‘s video for “Man Down,” in which she plays a character who guns down her rapist, has been super controversial. I’ve seen so many opinions on it—from those who say violence is not condoned ever to those who sympathize with the plot. Today, actress Gabrielle Union weighed in on the video via Twitter. And she has an interesting perspective being that she is a rape survivor—when she was 19 and working at a shoe store, the store was robbed and she was attacked. Her attacker turned himself in and got 33 years in prison. As Gabrielle explained a few years back, “The person robbing the store ended up putting a gun to my head and raping me. As he was raping me, I felt as though I was floating over myself, thinking, ‘This isn’t happening.’ I blanked out and had an out-of-body experience, like I was hovering above seeing this ­horrible thing happen to someone else … not me. I was fortunate enough to go the UCLA rape crisis center after this horrific ordeal. It gave me my life back.”

So what does Gabrielle think of Rihanna’s video?

She writes, “Every victim/survivor of rape is unique, including how they THINK they’d like justice to be handed out. During my rape I tried to shoot my rapist, but I missed. Over the years I realized that killing my rapist would’ve added insult to injury. The DESIRE to kill someone who abused/raped you is understandable, but unless it’s self defense in the moment to save your life, [it] just ADDS to your troubles #mandown. I repeat SELF DEFENSE to save yourself/protect yourself, I’m ALL for. Otherwise victim/survivor taking justice into your own hands with violence equals more trouble for you!!”

Does this change how you think about the video?

[Hello Beautiful]

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