College bars ban 'Blurred Lines' amid claims it 'excuses rape culture'

NBC News — Five British universities have banned Robin Thicke’s hit single “Blurred Lines” from campus bars, amid claims it “excuses rape culture.”

The students’ union at London’s Kingston University has become latest to refuse to play the song. It had previously been removed from playlists at Edinburgh, Leeds, Derby and West Scotland universities due to its allegedly misogynistic lyrics.

“The song hugely objectifies woman and excuses rape culture,” said Hollie O’Connor, president of the University of Derby Students’ Union. “It is a man suggesting that there are ‘blurred lines’ when it comes to sexual consent and that is unacceptable. We felt we needed to take a stand.”

O’Connor told NBC News that since banning the song she has received many emails of support and “not one which comes close to a complaint.”

The R&B singer-songwriter performs his three-time platinum song “Blurred Lines,” which many are calling the song of the summer.

She added: “If I had 1,000 students in one of our bars and only 10 percent felt uncomfortable with the song being played then we’d have failed them.”

“Blurred Lines” has reached number one in 14 countries. It is currently enjoying its 23rd week in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it sits at number four.

However, the song has sparked controversy, with critics questioning the meaning of lyrics such as “I hate these blurred lines,” “You’re a good girl,” and “I know you want it,” the latter being repeated no less than 18 times during the 4 minute and 23 second track.

One version of the music video for “Blurred Lines” features Thicke, accompanied by the songs co-stars Pharrell and rapper T.I., dancing with three naked women.

The ban at Edinburgh University came as part of the students’ association campaign to “end rape culture … on campus.”

The campaign says that “a significant proportion of students and the wider population hold dangerous victim-blaming views about women who experience rape and sexual violence.”

Singer Robin Thicke chats with the TODAY anchors about the success of his song “Blurred Lines,” as well as some of the controversy surrounding the hit, and performs another song from his new album, “Take It Easy On Me.”

Alice Smart, education officer at Leeds students’ union, said “Blurred Lines” was banned there because “the lyrics of the song conflict with our core value of equality and our commitment to having zero tolerance of sexual harassment… we have asked our resident DJs to remove the song from their playlists.”

Smart said she recognizes there are plenty of other songs with offensive lyrics “but ‘Blurred Lines’ was singled out in-particular due to its commercial success and the recent negative publicity surrounding it.”

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