Less than three weeks ahead of a much anticipated Israel gig, pop star Rihanna has raised eyebrows and sparked criticism for a sexually provocative music video clip.
The video for “Pour It Up” — in which the Barbados-born diva sings about drinking and strip clubs, and pole-dances dressed in a sparkling bikini and high heels — was released last week and had over 18 million views on YouTube by Saturday.
Miranda Suit, of Safermedia, a charity that campaigns against violence, sex and foul language in the media, told Britain’s Daily Mail that Rihanna’s “crude, tasteless and explicit dancing, combined with the money-focused lyrics, are telling all her fans – many of them still children – that it is good for women and girls to sell their body, and right for men and boys to see women purely as a sexual commodity.”
The Mail, which said the clip had been termed “vile,” “disgusting” and even “pornographic” by critics, also quoted Dr Helen Wright, a former president of the UK Girls’ School Association, urging parents to stop their children watching the video. “Even better would be for Rihanna herself to recognize the responsibility she has as a public figure to promote positive and healthy images of women, and to stop selling out, under cover of ‘art’, to commercial interests which demean women.”
Rihanna, 25, is set to perform at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park on October 22. The show will be the singer’s second in the country and is part of her “Diamond Tour” of the US, Europe, Australia, South Africa and beyond.
In May 2010, Rihanna performed at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium. While she was already an international star at the time, her fame has since catapulted. In 2012, Forbes and Time magazine named her as one of the most influential people in the world.
Among Rihanna’s hits are “Only Girl (in the world),” “Where Have You Been,” “We Found Love,” and “Diamonds.” She’s sold over 30 million albums and picked up numerous awards.
Aaron Kalman contributed to this report