Skip to content

Pharrell blasted for ‘Marilyn Monroe’ cover art featuring black woman


Pharrell Williams continues to have an amazing year from a musical standpoint. However, he has faced backlash since making the “new black” statement during an interview with Oprah on her OWN Network.

Many blacks were upset with Pharrell’s assessment of how racism is perceived within the black community. The statement was made after Oprah questioned Pharrell’s use of white women and a mixed woman on the cover art for his latest album, Girl.

In an attempt to show that women of all shades are beautiful, Pharrell used a brown-skinned black woman for the cover art for his latest single, “Marilyn Monroe.”

He released the cover on April 22 and several individuals on social media blasted Pharrell for using a black woman for the cover art. Some were upset because Marilyn Monroe was not the best role model and others were upset by the race factor.

Here are some comments:




Pharrell has yet to comment on why he chose a black woman to be featured on the cover, but it was a controversial move that will only increase the race debate.


  1. Sherri Etienne on April 23, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Wow! “New Black” and the use of a chocolate sister to depict Marilyn Monroe… Either @pharrell is being an azz or is just azz backwards! SMH! Why not use the white woman or lighter complexion woman for the Marilyn cover and the darker-skinned woman on the other cover? What, dark skin people aren’t “Happy”? Can their beauty only be used in association with icons representing negative or ill-fated imagery? I know television will have one think ill of the black woman, us dark ones in particular, but not all of us are the same; therefore I’m really confused here…

    • chocolatecitycom on April 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      ppl like this always feel the need to defend and define…what they are doing. and of course it never makes sense….thats why theyre questioning themselves.
      I just get the feeling this wht washed dude knows MM and Jane and Judy…But he knows nothing about Lona, Josephine or Nina. lol .. bet.

    • Joze on April 23, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      I do believe there is a new black not necessarily the new black pharrell speaks of but the new black that accepts all shades of browns reds yellows. Look I’m half black & Hispanic, I feel like we shouldn’t separate our selves from any other ethnic group such as Latinos or Indians & beyond we all have the same struggle. Look black people their are light skin Latin’s & dark-skinned ones just cos you see a Latin girl that’s lightskin & you think she’s white educate yourself!!! She’s representing sisters!!! Her ethnic group is under appreciated too. I feel us non white people should really unite instead I notice black people kinda suppurate all the struggles to themselves. & to me at least it makes it seem like people are trying to outcast the race as one. Instead of unite us. White people are represented everywhere!!! Take a good look at a magazine & nod your head to the Latino sister indian sister black sister who made the cover.

    • Brian on April 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Oh please. And had it been a white woman on this cover you all would accuse him of continuing to only care about lighter skinned women

      People like you will criticize no matter what. There really is no way to please you all unless he caters directly to your tokenism mind frame. The women on his album cover were no less deserving, and Marilyn for all her flaws is still considered beautiful, authentic, and most important, human. Or do you expect black women to only be depicted in perfect imagery?

  2. Mimi on April 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    How the hell is this any different that white producers in Hollywood utilizing white actors for movies about Blacks??? The 1949 movie Pinky is about a light-skinned African American woman who falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race, BUT they used a WHITE actress to play the African American woman and hello Liz Taylor playing Cleopatra???? And does anyone know what the song is really about?? Who said he’s trying to have the black woman portray Marilyn Monroe? Before people start blasting him for what HE wants to do, get the facts. Love the screen shot/comment of the white man on social media above “Does Pharell know MM was white?” Seriously, don’t you know that white America has been robbing Afrian Americans of their history for years and playing it off as theirs??? Ahhh ignorance is so damn BLISS!

  3. chimey on April 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    If I cover up the name marilyn monroe and look at the pic. I would not think of marilyn monroe like she’s not even posing in a manner ive seen MM pose. If anything It looks like a bright target commercial with a pretty girl who finally YESS! is wrapped in dark skin. He should have just had her and his name on it. I see nothing on here that screams MM.

  4. Dee on April 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    As many times as WHITE AMERICA has turned something that was colorful into an all white cast, this is ridiculous! He can do whatever he wants to do. Did white people know that Cleopatra was black yet a white lady ALWAYS played her! What about Angelina Jolie playing that journalist who was obviously middle eastern! I mean white people act like they can do something but if someone else does it now it’s somehow WRONG! That’s that WHITE PRIVILEGE rearing its ugly azz head!

    • chocolatecitycom on April 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      I think ppl are questioning the timing of this blk chick on the MM cover. I really don’t care. Cause, I’m not moved…either way. to tell the truth. It’s interesting though he would not also use a blk chick in representing GIRL… but one for a MM single. By the way there only seems to be a wht MM in the video…so all you wht washed folks calm down.

      • Brian on April 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm

        You do realize that he didn’t do auditions for his album cover right? That he knew the women? The original controversy in and of itself was stupid

        • chocolatecitycom on April 28, 2014 at 2:39 pm

          so,let me get this straight… are you saying he don’t know any identifiable black women?…no.. sweetie you trying to defend that b.s. ….is stupid.
          I don’t know or care what the album is about. but, it sounds like he’s speaking about women…So, he has no love blk women right….that’s the way it comes off. don’t be can careless…cause I have no love for him. and No, I’m not gonna check it out..he’s not worth it.
          If I was gonna dedicate an album to all men..or my love for men….I would prolly rep all men…especially the ones I belong to…lol this is very telling.

  5. Jenn on April 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    When the hell being lightskin become a tottal different nationality?!!! Stop deviding us !!! We are fucking black god damn !!!! If I here one more time light skin being pointed out as if its white ima choke somebody