Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy’ Video Director Responds to Criticism

You can’t silence the Internet. After premiering her video for “Rude Boy,” Rihanna came under attack by outspoken viewers who immediately drew comparisons to M.I.A.’s “Boyz” clip. Director Melina Matsoukas has responded to the criticism.

The woman behind RiRi’s “Rude Boy” and “Hard” videos was disappointed to hear the backlash to her latest work, which was influenced by Rasta culture and Atari, but insists she wasn’t trying to copy anyone. “Afterward I was like, ‘Oh, this sucks. They tore down my video,'” Melina told MTV News. “And [M.I.A.’s] video’s great too. It definitely wasn’t trying to rip anybody off at all—it was just our approach and the animation stuff, it had a similar vibe.”

Her inspiration came from pop culture icons and not one source in particular. “We’ve seen that before with Grace Jones and Andy Warhol, so I don’t know if anybody can lay claim to anything,” she added. “We’re all inspired by similar elements and it came together in that way.”

Melina will keep her name in the spotlight with the video for Alicia Keys and Beyoncé’s “Put It in a Love Song.” The clip was filmed in Brazil and is set to debut in the coming weeks.