Pop singer Pharrell had a huge hit with his 2013 song Blurred Lines, but the song has also become a big target to feminists who charge that the song treats women as sex objects and, worse, promotes a “rape culture.” In a new interview, Pharrell is defending the song and says the criticism is simply not right.
The song’s three performers–Robin Thicke, Williams and rapper TI–sing a constant refrain of “I know you want it.” This and the fact that the uncensored music video features three g-string clad, topless women dancing around the fully clothed male singers sent feminists into a tizzy upon its debut.
Blurred Lines, the same song that Miley Cyrus “twerked” her way through at last year’s MTV Awards, was the UK’s biggest selling single in 2013. But it quickly became a target of feminists who said the song was “eye-poppingly misogynistic.” They further charged that because of one line delivered by rapper TI the song promoted a “rape culture.”
But in the new interview on Britain’s Channel 4, the singer insists that claims that he meant that women are somehow dirty and all about sex are just wrong.
The pop singer says that the line “I know you want it” isn’t necessarily a sexual reference. He compared the line to advertising, such as that of selling a car or fast food.
“It meant that she’s a good girl and even good girls have bad thoughts–hence the term ‘Blurred Lines’ so she would take it out on the dance floor,” Williams said in the interview.
Williams went on to say, “Never once did I say in there anything sexual to a woman.”
As to the “misogynist” line sung by rapper TI, feminists said that “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two,” promotes violent sex.
Pharrell, though, pointed out that this line was written and sung by TI so he felt no need to take criticism for its inclusion in the song.
The song’s un-censored version with the nude dancers has been viewed on Vevo over 60 million times and an expurgated version of the song has been viewed over 300 million.
After the interview was over, Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy said that he felt Pharrell’s defense of the song wasn’t “terribly convincing.”
“It would have been refreshing had he just admitted the ‘Blurred Lines’ lyrics–especially TI’s line–was a bad call,” the BBC interviewer said.
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