When the music video for “I Love the Way You Lie” premiered, fans instantly drew comparisons about the domestic violence in the video to the two artists performing in it: Eminem and Rihanna.
The comparison is an understandable one, as Eminem has often rapped about his tumultuous relationship with ex-wife Kim Scott, even murdering her in controversial songs such as “’97 Bonnie and Clyde” and “Kim.” Meanwhile, Rihanna was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of Chris Brown in a much-publicized incident.
Despite this, Joseph Kahn, the music video’s director, says that his latest project was not about the two artists. “There are definitely things in both Rihanna and Eminem’s [lives] that we have to be very sensitive about when we were making this video, [but] it’s not a story about Eminem or Rihanna,” he said to MTV News. “It’s a specific thing that I created for Dominic and Megan to play two people with very specific story lines to each other. These are fictional characters in my head but obviously based on real human beings.”
Kahn added that, last year, he had worked on a project with Chris Brown, so he had to “be very, very careful with how I tread. But ultimately, if you really look at the video, it’s not about anybody in particular. … It’s a story specific to two characters I created.”