N.E.R.D frontman and famed music producer, Pharrell Williams, has gone on the record expressing his “embarrassment” over his involvement in the controversial 2013 hit, Blurred Lines.
The singer, who plays a prominent role in the Robin Thicke-led recording, has said that he now recognizes how the song’s lyrics are misogynistic, and indicative of a disrespectful attitude towards women.[[imagecaption|| Credit: PA]]
Expressing his change of heart in an interview with GQ magazine for their “New Masculinity” November issue, Williams revealed:
"I was also born in a different era, where the rules of the matrix at that time allowed a lot of things that would never fly today. Advertisements that objectify women. Song content. Some of my old songs, I would never write or sing today. I get embarrassed by some of that stuff. It just took a lot of time and growth to get to that place."
When pressed on whether the #MeToo movement had affected his outlook, Williams suggested that he had already revised his opinion. As he put it:
"I think Blurred Lines opened me up," he explained. "I didn't get it at first. Because there were older white women who, when that song came on, they would behave in some of the most surprising ways ever. And I would be like, 'Wow!' They would have me blushing.”
“So when there started to be an issue with it, lyrically, I was, like, 'What are you talking about? There are women who really like the song and connect to the energy that just gets you up. And I know you want it - women sing those kinds of lyrics all the time'. So it's like, 'What's rapey about that?'"
“And then I realized that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman, and it doesn't matter that that's not my behavior or the way I think about things. It just matters how it affects women. And I was like, 'Got it. I get it. Cool'."
The controversy over the song’s lyrics wasn’t the only issue associated with the release of Blurred Lines. Last year, a court decreed that Williams and Thicke must pay $5 million to the family of Marvin Gaye, due to the song’s similarity to his single “Got To Give It Up.” Much like the lyrics’ themes, this opened up a wider conversation throughout the industry.