Blurred Lines topped multiple song charts back in 2013 and even managed to earn a handful of awards. But now, the public has learned to look back at the song with disapproval. Despite its acclaim from Billboard, Soul Train and even the Grammys, the track has earned backlash for its sexist and problematic tones. Blurred Lines is one of the songs that definitely did not age well especially with the emergence of the #MeToo movement.
The controversy surrounding the song played a hand in how its singer Robin Thicke has fallen off the radar. Thicke’s music career might even be considered one of the earliest casualties of cancel culture before the concept entered the public’s consciousness.
However, one of his collaborators, Pharell Williams had been generally safe from the backlash. It’s almost like the public almost instantly forgave him after churning out the 2013 bop ‘Happy’ for Despicable Me 2. Happy was released just 9 months after Blurred Lines dropped. See the official music video for Blurred Lines below:
After initially defending the song years prior, Williams is changing his tune. The singer now admits that Blurred Lines was pretty problematic and that he was educated about sexism through the controversy.
Speaking in an interview with GQ, Williams admits that he “didn’t get it at first” referring to the song’s backlash.
“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?’” He said about his initial reaction.
Later on, Williams admitted that the words in the song’s lyrics were the “same language [used] when taking advantage of a woman, and it doesn’t matter that that’s not my behavior.”
He then went on to denounce the song saying: “Hadn’t realized that. I didn’t realize that some of my songs catered to that. So that blew my mind.”
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.