THE DUP COUNCILLOR and farmer who asked Rihanna to stop filming on his land has watched the resulting video for her new single – and given TheJournal.ie his verdict.
Cllr Alan Graham, who represents Bangor West, is a local farmer and committed Christian who found himself receiving international attention after stopping the filming of a music video starring Rihanna on his land – because the singer filmed some topless scenes.
The video for the track We Found Love contains a number of scenes shot on a Belfast council estate and the corn farm belonging to Cllr Graham.
He told TheJournal.ie that he has since seen the video and had been made aware of what the director’s treatment of it was beforehand – so he wasn’t “particularly shocked by its content”.
“Having said that, I don’t particularly approve of them either,” he said of the singer’s activities while in character in the video, which include her depicting drug taking and sexual behaviour.
“I never dreamt that the issue would develop into a worldwide story,” he said. “I didn’t anticipate that. I suppose it was because I requested the filming to stop and because of the worldwide status of Rihanna, that’s why the story became something worldwide. I must say that I respect Rihanna and I care for Rihanna – perhaps a lot more than those who want her to make these videos.”
“I simply want her to enjoy life and have a good life, and I believe that can only come through her enjoying God’s salvation in her life.”
Cllr Graham said he has a concern about the drug element of the video, where Rihanna is seen taking pills and smoking what may be marijuana.
“Some people think there are issues with a superstar showing that example and perhaps rubbing off on young people,” he said. “I think there is a case there.”
“Maybe I’m a bit naive or wanting to think the best, but I do not really think Rihanna is that extremely naughty person that she is made out to be in the films.”
“My encounter with her, and the respectful conversation I had with her and she had with me, [means] I am hopeful that is not her when she is doing these things, but I don’t live in that world.”
Overall, Cllr Graham said his chief concern was the depiction of women in music videos.
“I would just prefer that the bigger picture is that there wasn’t this need for young ladies to take their clothes off and so on and so forth in the name of entertainment.”
“I don’t mind ladies at all – I enjoy their company and conversation, but I want to respect them and I want to take care of them.”
Watch the making of the Rihanna video in Ireland:
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