Apparently, when it comes to the lines of the justice system, Robin Thicke’s version is a little too blurry. The musician still proclaims that he didn’t steal music from Marvin Gaye, even though a jury ruled that he did. He gave his first interview with The New York Times since that verdict earlier this week.
“I know the difference between inspiration and theft,” he commented. “I’m constantly inspired, but I would never steal. And neither would Pharrell [Williams, who wrote the song with Thicke].”
He kept talking about what makes inspiration different from plagiarism, citing that sometimes, you don’t know when you’re being inspired. Even though he lost the “Blurred Lines” copyright lawsuit, he claims it’s not affecting his work. The lawsuit awarded about $7 million to the late Gaye’s family.
“I mean, if you made the first superhero movie, do you own the concept of the superhero?” Thicke tried to be clever, but the answer is pretty much yes. Yes, you would. Especially if you registered with the Writers Guild.
He accused artists like Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars, and Sam Smith of ripping off The Gap Band and Tom Petty. They’re just not dealing with legality issues. But that might be because they’re songs aren’t terribly offensive to women.
“Blurred Lines” promotes rape culture. Lines like “Good girl/I know you want it” are not only demeaning and suggest that women are perpetually five years old, but studies and projects have shown that rapists actually use phrases like that. It’s not a good scene. If you want to sue a song, you’re going to make it the one that’s offensive to women and especially rape survivors.
Thicke, however, doesn’t see how his song promotes rape culture. He says he never intended for that interpretation to come out, but let’s face it. Once you publish something, it’s public forum and open to interpretation. If you can prove it in the text, your interpretation is valid. Critics have proven that the song has misogyny and rape triggers in it, and that’s why the song is misogynistic. It doesn’t matter if Thicke and Williams didn’t want it to be.
The 2013 tune isn’t the only time Thicke has run into controversy with women. He performed his follow-up song, “Forever Love,” (for his ex-wife) at the 2014 BET Awards. Of that, he said, “What I thought was romantic was just embarrassing.” Many critics say the album (entitled Paula and named after the woman he used to be married to) was an obsessive move for Thicke to make, and it was wrong of him not to let her go and move on. Now, Thicke says he regrets not releasing it free of charge so it could “maintain its purity.”
The next step in the lawsuit is to try to make rap music artist, T.I., accountable for plagiarism. His voice appears in the track. We wait as the legal drama unfolds.