When Blurred Lines was released in 2013 it came with a host of controversies. Seemingly at the bottom of the list was the accusation of plagiarism from Marvin Gaye‘s 1977 hit song Got To Give It Up. Misogyny was the main concern, and the track sparked a worldwide debate, none of which however derailed its popularity or success. The song certainly doesn’t fill your belly with warm-and-fuzzies, and I think most rationale people would find the content downright ‘icky’. Although, the catchy single bulldozed through the charts regardless of its questionable morals.
There seemed to be a kind of karmic retribution in play when Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke were then sued by the Gaye estate and ordered to pay $7.3 million in remuneration, although this sum was later reduced to $5.4 million. But obviously no money has changed hands as of yet, as the litigated parties appeal the decision.
Of course though, what’s this to audiences? These men have deep pockets, having achieved immense international success in their chosen field of entertainment. So still the ethical ambiguity of the song faded into the ether, leaving two rich people to deal with rich people problems. But of course karma wasn’t done rearing its ugly head.
The Hollywood Reporter today released exclusive video of the 2014 deposition of both Thicke and Williams. The interesting videos shed some light not only on the case of Thicke and Williams’ plagiaristic wrongdoing, but maybe also into Thicke’s character.
When asked about his interviews regarding the song Thicke stated that, “When I give interviews, I tell whatever I want to say to help sell records.” Overall a rather banal statement, but more interestingly he went on to talk about his proclivity for drug use, especially during 2013 where he quipped “I was high and drunk every time I did an interview last year.” While it’s probably not all that uncommon for celebrities to be sloshed during interviews, it can become problematic when talking about the process of creating a song that you are accused of stealing.
Now established that Thicke was high, and saying whatever he could to sell a record, he was then asked if he considered himself an honest person to which he promptly replied “no”. Whilst not damning evidence, it does speak to Thicke’s character if it is in fact true that he and Pharrell ripped off the track.
But you have to wonder, was Thicke, drunk and high as he was, taken advantage of by these pressing reporters? I mean, the line gets awfully blurry doesn’t it? No, it doesn’t, now pay the money and stop making ugly music Robin.
For Thicke’s deposition see here.
For Pharrell’s testimony see below.