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Ms. Magazine Criticized For Rihanna Birthday Tweet

Twitter users said telling the star to “stay safe from violence” was victim-blaming.

John Shearer / AP

The above is a tweet Ms.’s official Twitter account sent today in honor of Rihanna’s birthday. It was not well-received.


What the fuck is wrong with y’all? RT @msmagazine happy 25th birthday, Rihanna. Please use your power for good. And stay safe from violence.— Mikki Kendall


Let’s be clear hat tweet shows @msmagazine’s fundamental lack of respect for Rihanna’s humanity. Who brings up DV history in bday wishes?— Mikki Kendall

One wonders if anyone @msmagazine bothered to consider the possibility that tweet would be triggering for Rihanna or other readers?

— Karnythia (@Mikki Kendall)

One wonders if anyone @msmagazine bothered to consider the possibility that tweet would be triggering for Rihanna or other readers?— Mikki Kendall

WTF, @msmagazine ? Awful, awful! RT @msmagazine happy 25th birthday, Rihanna. Please use your power for good. And stay safe from violence.

— astormraider (@astormraider)

WTF, @msmagazine ? Awful, awful! RT @msmagazine happy 25th birthday, Rihanna. Please use your power for good. And stay safe from violence.— astormraider

. @msmagazine: "happy birthday, get it girl, we're rooting for you!" could have worked. more birthday, less blaming. cc @Karnythia

— loveismaroon (@katie presley)

. @msmagazine: “happy birthday, get it girl, we’re rooting for you!” could have worked. more birthday, less blaming. cc @Karnythia— katie presley

[TW] If you wouldn't say "Stay safe from rape," don't say "Stay safe from violence." @msmagazine

— graceishuman (@Grace)

[TW] If you wouldn’t say “Stay safe from rape,” don’t say “Stay safe from violence.” @msmagazine— Grace

Ms. eventually deleted the tweet, but when criticized for that, they got defensive:

.@msmagazine a deletion but no apology? once again, keep it classy.

— so_treu (@Billie Lee Crockett)

.@msmagazine a deletion but no apology? once again, keep it classy.— Billie Lee Crockett

@so_treu Didn't think we were victim blaming, but concerned for woman who was abused, spoke out against abuse, then returned to abuser

— msmagazine (@Ms. Magazine)

@so_treu Didn’t think we were victim blaming, but concerned for woman who was abused, spoke out against abuse, then returned to abuser— Ms. Magazine

@so_treu would appreciate being advised on how we missed on this instead of just being hated on. truly. apologies for any missteps made

— msmagazine (@Ms. Magazine)

@so_treu would appreciate being advised on how we missed on this instead of just being hated on. truly. apologies for any missteps made— Ms. Magazine

Ultimately, though, they did issue an apology:

Apologies for not showing a deeper understanding of the reality of DV survivors' lives.

— msmagazine (@Ms. Magazine)

Apologies for not showing a deeper understanding of the reality of DV survivors’ lives.— Ms. Magazine

Ms. has not yet responded to our request for further comment on the issue.

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