Rihanna has again proven why she's one of the most inspiring women in pop culture right now — this time by standing up for domestic violence victims everywhere. As Us Weekly reported, Rihanna responded to Snapchat's Chris Brown advertisement with a lengthy post on Instagram. And the singer is not holding back what she thinks about the controversial ad.
In response to the advertisement, which featured a "Would You Rather?" style question that seemingly made light of Rihanna and Brown's previous domestic violence incident, the singer took to her Instagram story to detail why the promo was such a misstep. She explained that she was hurt by it since it disrespected domestic violence victims everywhere. Rihanna started off her statement with,
"Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain't my fav app out there! But I'm just trying to figure out wha the point was with that whole mess! I'd love to call it ignorance but I know you ain't that dumb!"
She then explained exactly why this advertisement was so particularly hurtful:
"You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV [domestic violence] victims and made a joke of it!!! This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them … but all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet …. you let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away."
With this statement, the singer pointed out just how damaging this kind of imagery is, in the outspoken and fierce way we've come to expect from Rihanna.
In response to the controversy, a Snap Inc. spokesperson said in a statement to Bustle:
“This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service. We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process. We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.”
The original ad came was for a third party mobile video game called "Would You Rather." The question, however, asked users whether they would want to "Slap Rihanna" or "Punch Chris Brown." The ad was quickly criticized for being damaging and hurtful not only to Rihanna, who was at the center of the case and had to see her experience belittled here, but also to domestic violence victims everywhere who saw the very nature of the assault made into a joke.
Snapchat previously apologized on Monday for the now-deleted, advertisement in a statement given to the BBC. "The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines," said a spokesperson. (Said Snapchat guidelines forbids "shocking, sensational, or disrespectful content.") "We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware." They also added, "We are sorry that this happened."
Meanwhile, Rihanna has spoken out about domestic violence issues ever since her own experience with ex-boyfriend Brown, which occurred in 2009. In response to that case, Brown eventually pled guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend, where he was sentenced to five years probation and 180 days of community service, according to People.
In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, Rihanna spoke out about her previous situation with Brown and how society treats victims of domestic violence. In response to a question about being considered a "poster child for domestic abuse," she responded with, "Well, I just never understood that,” she says, “like how the victim gets punished over and over. It’s in the past, and I don’t want to say ‘Get over it,’ because it’s a very serious thing that is still relevant; it’s still real." She continued to say, "But, for me, and anyone who’s been a victim of domestic abuse, nobody wants to even remember it. Nobody even wants to admit it. So to talk about it and say it once, much less 200 times, is like … I have to be punished for it? It didn’t sit well with me.”
It seems as though, while she doesn't want to necessarily bring up the past all the time, Rihanna will always choose to speak out on this topic when necessary.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.