Pharrell appeared on “The Breakfast Club” to promote his new album GIRL and directly addressed the controversy that surrounded the album cover. When the artwork debuted yesterday, (Feb. 26), many criticized Pharrell for not including a black woman amongst the models on the cover.
“What really disappointed me is that, man, they jumped the gun,” Pharrell explained. “Because the one I’m standing the closest to is black. She’s a black girl from Wisconsin that I used to date like ten years ago, or twelve years ago. And that just must suck for people to just look at something and to assume that they know what’s going on. And if they had just bothered to listen to my album, they’d know it’s an ode to women, period.”
“The one thing I was trying to help and aid and change is this crazy statuesque standard of: you gotta be white, waif and thin for you to be beautiful. You know my next record is called ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and the chorus is, ‘Not even Marilyn Monroe, Cleopatra, see. Not even Joan of Arc, that don’t mean nothing to me. I just want a different girl.'”
“My mom is a black woman that is a huge part of my business, my business is run by another black woman and I’m married to a black woman, what are you talking about?”
When asked if he would be sure to include darker-skinned women in his visual material going forward, Pharrell said he won’t single out any type of woman.
“I refuse. My whole album is about women — period. There’s such a bigger statement that I’m making in the album that relates to all women and that’s how I think we bring everyone together is when we respect the female species across the board. I’m not telling you my album don’t have no slick, perverse things. That’s what I do sometimes! I like curves I like eyes, beauty, body, all that stuff. But there are some real, true, keystone points about how I feel about women as it pertains to humanity, the social imbalance, how they don’t get paid as much as men do. Or like, how these legislatures are trying to tell women what they can and can’t do with their body. Meanwhile, these same people are beneficiaries to a woman. Not a man, but a woman agreeing to have them, but you’re going to tell them when they can and can’t do it. It just bothers me because they’re missing the point.”
“Man, it must suck to be that black woman that’s on my cover right now because she’s black. When they find out that she is black, then what? Then we’re arguing amongst ourselves within color. Then the argument’s going to be she’s not brown enough. Then my question to you is, are y’all asking me do I have an Indian person on the cover? Why aren’t you asking about a Pakistani person? A Middle Eastern person on the cover. I just…MAN! What are we talking about? We’re making huge strides here. Let’s unify, dude. ‘Cause honestly, if you know anything about me, if you’ve seen any of my videos, you seen any of the girls I’ve ever dated, you know I like ‘em all.. You would know that.”