Melina Matsoukas directed the song's music video, which was, in part, Rihanna's response to disparaging critics. It portrays softcore sadomasochist acts and fetishes. The music video was banned in many countries and restricted to nighttime television in others. Critics complimented Rihanna's sensuality and the vibrant colors. Photographer David LaChapelle filed a lawsuit alleging that the video incorporates ideas from his photographs.
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Willa Paskin of New York similarly described it as a "goofy" take on the S&M-themed music videos typical of Madonna and Lady Gaga. See more