By Liane Membis
Rihanna’s latest music video is causing a stir on the airwaves and has recently been flagged on YouTube for its inappropriate content.
The video titled “S&M” features nude and graphic sexual scenes while Rihanna sings the tune to racy language. ”’Sex in the air/ I don’t care/ I love the smell of it/ Sticks and stones may break my bones/ But chains and whips excite me.” The video is currently banned in eleven countries.
“S&M” music video director Melina Matsoukas defends the video, claiming that it is a play on the sadomasochistic relationship between Rihanna and the press.
“When I go out to make something, I kind of go out with the intention to get it banned — [well] not to get it banned, I always want my stuff played — but to make something provocative,” Matsoukas told MTV News. “So when you do something that’s provocative, that’s usually a repercussion. It’s going to be talked about or banned or slandered in some way. But it’s making an effect and people are having a dialogue about it, so, to me, that’s successful.
S&M stands for sadism and masochism, which are sexual fetishes in which an individual finds sexual gratification from inducing or receiving pain or humiliation. In the video, Rihanna is tied up in strings in tight-clad latex throughout her video, while fake reporters are clowned on, and dancers simulate sexual acts. The video also draws on Japanese anime imagery. While the video elicits sexual images that are highly controversial due to the young fans that Rihanna attracts, the director reminds the public that the video is more so a metaphor about society’s attack on the singer.
“Here’s a projection, which is a play on the first scene with all the slanderous headlines projected over her, which was on her dress,” Matsoukas told MTV News. “That was the worst task I had to do, was research all the slanderous headlines, which came from real people’s language online.”
The backlash hasn’t stopped the singer from sharing her latest work. Rihanna recently tweeted, “U can now view the ‘S&M’ video Rihannanow.com UNFLAGGED!!!”
Celebrity Blogger, Perez Hilton is also featured in the video, being walked by Rihanna like a dog on a leash. Claiming that he was at first apprehensive about appearing in the video out of respect for the singer, Hilton now believes that people are just making too much hoop-la about the song.
“I really don’t think it’s that controversial. I think that people just want it to be controversial,” he told PopEater.com.
Although the video is currently banned in several regions, it has managed to gain more than 2 million views since its debut on Wednesday and is currently #1 on iTunes.