28 May 2014

Blurring the lines? Pharrell Williams interview

“If I can tell you’re hungry and I say ‘I know you want it’, does that mean I’m going to rape you?” Pharrell Williams and Krishnan Guru-Murthy clash over the controversial song Blurred Lines.

Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines (pictures: Getty)

Williams, the chart topping singer and producer, defended the lyrics to his song – saying the line “I know you want it” is about how even good girls can have bad thoughts.

Blurred Lines, produced by Williams and performed by Robin Thicke, Williams and TI, caused controversy when it was released in 2013.

The song, the UK’s biggest selling single in 2013, was accused of trivialising sexual consent and promoting a rape culture.

Criticism was also aimed at the music video, which includes three topless women dancing around Thicke, Williams and TI, for being “eye-poppingly misogynistic”.

That video has been viewed more than 60 million times on Vevo – a version where the women are not topless has been watched more than 300 million times.

Never once did I say in there anything sexual to a woman. Pharrell Williams

YouTube videos have inspired parodies – including on the Jimmy Kimmel show in the States, and a explicit feminist parody (We ain’t good girls/We are scholastic/Smart and sarcastic/Not f****** plastic).

And after the song was released it went on to cause further controversy when Miley Cyrus “twerked” her way through it with Robin Thicke at the MTV Music Awards.

Are there ever times when you have naughty thoughts? Pharrell Williams

However, Williams argues that the line “I know you want it” is not necessarily sexually suggestive – comparing it to selling a car or offering food.

“It meant that she’s a good girl and even good girls have bad thoughts – hence the term Blurred Lines so she would take it out on the dance floor.

“Never once did I say in there anything sexual to a woman.”

"Please God, let him not be a jerk", I thought on the way: Krishnan Guru-Murthy interviews Pharrell Williams

When asked about the line “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two”, Williams said he would not disown the line, but “I did not write it, TI wrote that”.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy also faced a grilling of his own from the music producer – who asked him: “Are there ever times when you have naughty thoughts?”

See the response below.