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This All-Male Gay Parody of Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ Video Was Removed From YouTube

Robin Thicke cuddles with a model in this screenshot from Blurred Lines

Image: Screengrab

If you somehow managed to miss Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," I'm here for you. The video for the single, which features T.I. & Pharrell Williams, has been accused of being exploitative for featuring lyrics like "[your last guy] didn't smack that ass and pull your hair like that," a giant balloon sign which reads "Robin Thicke Has a Big Dick," and topless female models (Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M'Bengue and Elle Evans) frolicking for the pleasure of the male performers — and the viewer. I think saying the video is "rapey" might be an overstatement, but I did feel uncomfortable watching it — it's Terry Richardsonesque.

In an interview with GQ, Thicke claimed he had good intentions, but his reasoning is unconvincing:

"We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, 'We're the perfect guys to make fun of this.' People say, 'Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?' I'm like, 'Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women.' So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, 'Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.'"

To reiterate: according to Thicke, taking pleasure in objectifying women is an effective way to send-up the objectification of women.

The video, for reference (NSFW): 

There are three sane responses to "Blurred Lines": laugh, ignore, make a parody video. Helix, a gay porn company, did the latter, producing an all-male version of the Robin Thicke experience. The result was less porny and more joyous than the original, featuring no nudity, just dancing boys wearing sparkly booty shorts and tightie whities. 

It was pulled from YouTube. The Sword, a gay sex site (NSFW, obviously) noticed that the video was removed and reposted it to Vevo (below). (To be clear, YouTube will remove anything when it's flagged by enough people for violating the website's Terms of Service, whether or not the content is objectionable.)

It wasn't the nudity that made me uncomfortable with Thicke's original video; everyone is naked underneath their clothes. I was offended that the men weren't naked too: Thicke and his musician friends were clothed, performing, being funny, having a good time. Meanwhile, the women were bodies at best, a punchline at worst — a portrayal that's depressingly common in pop culture. A parody made by a porn company managed to be less offensive, more human, than the original — and that's because all the performers were having a good time, treated as sexual beings but not objects. Wanting to have sex doesn't preclude wanting other things too. It's crazy that, for once, a porn company got that right, and people still had a problem with it. 

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