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It was interesting reading the comments on this story on our local UTV website and comparing them with those on Yahoo - UTV readers were embarrassed at how backward we appear to the rest of the world, whilst the rest of the world (on Yahoo anyway!) took the side of the farmer...

Scott Edgar

While I agree with most of the above regarding self-image and the over sexualisation of pop music (as well as TV, movies, online content etc) I feel there are several bigger pictures to be looked at.

Firstly it reinforces to the world that we in Northern Ireland still like to adopt some Draconian attitudes to modern day life. Whilst we're not quite on the scale of Westboro Baptist Church who were tastefully ridiculed by Foo Fighters recently, it is ultimately cringeworthy when the thoughts of one man take over mainstream media making us temporarily ignore wars, famines and major crimes against human rights all because some girl got her kit off in a field where comparatively few people would see. I also read with interest a tweet yesterday from David Hasselhoff who was looking forward to DJing at Queen's University despite Northern Ireland being the only country in the world to place a ban on 'Baywatch'. Moments like this are an embarrassment for a country which should be forward thinking and diverse.

In particular at this time of year, when the nation has invested a huge amount of time, money and effort into attracting the MTV European Music Awards to town; is this really the mixed message we allow to be sent out? Potential millions of pounds of investment could be made in the music and movies sector here. Not only have we attracted the MTV awards and the likes of Rihanna to the country but also had the likes of Sons of Anarchy and several high profile Hollywood productions shooting on our shores. It seems quite often we're able to turn a blind eye to the things we don't like in these shallow industries. Do we forget the drink and drugs consumed by the likes of Snow Patrol simply because they're local heroes or boys done good? Or is it because they're not female and boys can look after themselves.

I could rant on here for a lot longer but for the sake of brevity and in true Presbyterian fashion I'll note it in three points.

1. Northern Ireland needs to realise that the world has changed and that attitudes of acceptance are just as valid as condemnation in maintaining that "God fearing" society we've created. Isn't "God fearing" somewhat at odds with a God who is supposedly love anyway?

2. A comment read on Facebook yesterday states that sex sells. This isn't news to anyone but it also added the reason that sex sells is because we all still but into it. Rihanna won't mind this controversy at all as it's excellent promotion for her new video, tour and probable upcoming appearance at the EMAs.

3. There are bigger problems in the world which we all seem quick to forget and forgive. Chris Brown is still selling millions of records despite his well documented physical abuse of Rihanna. I sincerely hope that violence has not become a lesser sin than baring a little flesh.

Those are my initial thoughts on the situation anyway. Inadvertently a lot more people in Northern Ireland have now heard of Rihanna and have probably seen those "offending" images. I think we should live and let live and dare I say be thankful that the streets of Ulster are no longer witnessing the shooting of innocent men, women and children and instead have opened up to the shooting of big budget music and movie productions.


Regardless of whether you have a faith, almost everyone can agree that the sexualisation of the music industry goes to the line - and frequently crosses it. I admire the farmer for having the courage to speak to Rihanna face-to-face and say, "This is inappropriate." How often do we as Christians say one thing and live another?

If you listen closely to the radio interview and also read exactly what he said, he was extremely measured and only when pushed did he mention God. No Bible-bashing and he even referred to Rihanna as "gracious".

Ajectives from friends on the mainland to describe the farmer include: brilliant, marvellous and ballsy!


Well said that farmer. A man of his convictions.

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no need to cringe Steve, the man did the good I reckon. The whole entourage was making a graven image, a little Rihanna idol in his field....and it looks like they took note of all those letters about X-Factor

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