Pharrell Williams has distanced himself from the one-time controversial song ‘Blurred Lines’ after a realisation that he contributed to sexism.
The track, which was made in collaboration with Robin Thicke, became the centre of a larger debate about women’s rights, sexism and the discussion about sexual politics as its lyrics held lines such as “I know you want it” and the official video displayed topless women.
Williams, who previously refused to accept that the song alluded to inappropriate sexual behaviour, told Pitchfork in 2013 that: “When you pull back and look at the entire song, the point is: She’s a good girl, and even good girls want to do things, and that’s where you have the blurred lines.” He added at the time: “She expresses it in dancing because she’s a good girl. People who are agitated just want to be mad, and I accept their opinion.”
Now though, in a new interview with GQ Magazine, 46-year-old musician Williams has had more time to reflect on the song and, when the conversation was brought up again, he said that he found it difficult to understand the controversy because women appeared to like the song: “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?’”
Williams also added that some of the lyrics used in the song are, in fact, the similar language used by men when talking to and about women, “When taking advantage of a woman, and it doesn’t matter that that’s not my behaviour. Or the way I think about things. It just matters how it affects women.”
The singer added that he has “realised that we live in a chauvinist culture in our country. Hadn’t realised that. Didn’t realise some of my songs catered to that. So that blew my mind.”