Robin Thicke hits back at universities over 'Blurred Lines' ban

US singer claims people in the UK do not 'get' his controversial song

Jess Denham
Thursday 07 November 2013 13:42
A screengrab from Robin Thicke's controversial "Blurred Lines" video
A screengrab from Robin Thicke's controversial "Blurred Lines" video

Robin Thicke has hit back after around 20 universities banned his chart-topping single "Blurred Lines" from playing in their union bars.

Thicke told the BBC this week that people in the UK clearly did not "get" his song, adding, "I think the kids get it. I just have to deal with that."

"We were just trying to make a funny song and sometimes the lyrics get misconstrued when you're just trying to put people on the dancefloor and have a good time. We had no idea it would stir this much controversy. We only had the best intentions."

The US singer hit number one in 14 countries when the controversial track was released this summer, but lyrics such as "I know you want it" have met with widespread criticism.

Student leaders across the UK have barred the track featuring Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I. for its apparently sexist lyrics and connotations of rape, claiming it encourages an unhealthy attitude towards sex.

Thicke has already dismissed its association with non-consensual sex as "ridiculous", explaining how he wrote the song about his wife, the actress Paula Patton.

"She's my 'good girl', and I know she wants it because we've been together 20 years," he said.

The University of Edinburgh was the first to ban "Blurred Lines" in September in line with a new policy entitled "End Rape Culture and Lad Banter on Campus".

Other universities including Nottingham, Leeds and the University of London quickly followed suit, with Susuana Antubam, women's officer for the latter, calling the lyrics "a monstrosity of phrases rapists have been known to use against victims".

Alice Smart, from Leeds Student Union, told how students' reaction to the ban had been "mainly positive".

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"A few students are asking why if we have banned this song, we aren't banning everything, but we've chosen this one as an example because it’s so popular," she said.

The video for "Blurred Lines", in which a fully-clothed Thicke gyrates with topless women, has also been slammed, with feminist blog The Vagenda calling it "an orgy of female objectification".

Thicke's response that the song is in fact "a feminist movement within itself" has not been accepted by critics.

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