Pharrell Williams: 'Happy' singer compares topless 'Blurred Lines' models with naked museum statues

The US producer has defended his 2013 hit ahead of tonight's Brit Awards

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The Independent Culture

Just hours before he performs at the Brit Awards, Pharrell Williams has reopened the still wriggling, gender equality can of worms that is last year’s “Blurred Lines”.

During an interview with Time Out, the Oscar-nominated US producer compared the music video’s topless models with nude sculptures.

“Is it sexist when you walk around in a museum and a lot of the statues have their boobs out?” he asked. “The women in that video weren’t doing anything sexual: they were only dancing. Just because they had their boobs out, that was ‘sexist’.

“I didn’t do anything sexually suggestive to any of those women, I wouldn’t allow it. I have respect and I know the message that I want to put. I’m a fun guy.”

Quick to defend future “creative” decisions, Williams then added: “I want to support women, but that doesn’t mean I won’t make another song where girls’ behinds are everywhere.”

5612421.jpg A chart-topping hit for Robin Thicke, Williams and T.I, “Blurred Lines” sparked a feminist debate when it was released in March 2013. More than 20 UK unviersities banned the song from playing in their student unions after welfare groups were angered by its “rapey” lyrics and promotion of “lad banter”.

“A song that implies a woman is ‘an animal’ who ‘wants it’ because of the way she is dressed is not acceptable,” a statement from Exeter’s Students’ Guild read.

“The language within the lyrics and the images within the promotional video are utterly degrading to the female subject. Any song that expresses an author’s frustration at ‘being sick of blurred lines’ is beyond unacceptable."

So strong was the backlash that Thicke was voted Sexist of the Year in an End Violence Against Women Coalition poll last December.

Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke in a still from 'Blurred Lines'

But Williams insists that it was all a fuss about nothing. “There were lots of women who wanted to understand what we meant by those lyrics,” he said.

“But the two lines go: ‘You don’t need no papers, that man is not your maker’. Boom! Lyrically, you’re done: there’s nothing else to talk about. Plus that treatment was written and shot by a female director, who’s a feminist.”

No mention of ‘I’ll give you something big enough to tear your a** in two’ then Pharrell?

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