It’s been six years since Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke released their hugely successfully - and equally controversially - single ‘Blurred Lines’.
However, looking back at the backlash the song has received over the years for seemingly promoting non-consensual sex, Williams now says he has come to realise that some of his songs have ‘catered’ to a sexist culture.
‘"Blurred Lines" opened me up,’ the 46-year-old told US GQ, explaining that at first he didn’t understand what was ‘rapey’ about the lyrics in the song.
Lines from the song include ‘I know you want it’ and ‘the way you grab me, must want to get nasty’.
The singer continued, adding: ‘I realised that there are men who use that same language 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. And I was like, Got it. I get it. Cool. My mind opened up to what was actually being said in the song and how it could make someone feel.’
The ‘Happy’ singer said that he ‘cared’ how people reacted to the song – which was banned by several universities - and that he would not write or sing some of his ‘old songs’ today.
‘I realised that we live in a chauvinist culture in our country,’ he said following the backlash of his song with Thicke. ‘Hadn't realised that. Didn't realise that some of my songs catered to that. So that blew my mind.’
Following the criticism of the song, the N.E.R.D singer previously defended its lyrics, telling Pitchfork in 2014: ‘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.
‘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.’
During his interview with GQ, the father-of-four also opened up about how he thinks the trans community are under siege from ‘spiritual warfare.
‘They feel like their body is not connected to their spirit,’ he said. ‘And what kind of toxic environment do we live in that they have to justify how they feel? That must feel incredibly insane.’
We're happy to see that Williams is recognising the importance of promoting gender equality in his music.
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