Pharrell Williams is addressing the backlash he’s received because of the cover of his new album  G I R L for not featuring any black women. Williams appeared on NYC’s 105.1’s Breakfast Club and spoke with Charlemagne.

Williams was quick to point out that one of the women on the cover is actually black.

Check out Williams’ comments below:

What really disappointed me is they jumped the gun, because the one I’m standing closest to is black. She’s a black girl from Wisconsin that I used to date over ten years ago or maybe like twelve years ago. That just must suck man for people to look at something and to assume they know what’s going on. If they just bothered to listen to my album, they would know that my album was an ode to women, period. And the one thing that I’m trying to kill…well I can’t kill anything…but the one thing I was just trying to help and aid in changing the crazy statuesque standard of you gotta be white, waif, and thin for you to be beautiful.

Williams also discussed his song “Marilyn Monroe”:

My next record is called “Marilyn Monroe” and the chorus is, ‘Not even Marilyn Monroe who Cleopatra pleased, Not even Joan of Arc, That don’t mean nothing to me, I just want a different girl.’

So that means no matter what color you are, what size you are, what you’re into, your sexual orientation, I respect you as a woman because I know without you, none of us would be here. But unfortunately, they looked at the cover & they didn’t see what they felt like — I don’t know what the definition is. That she’s a light-skinned black woman. But I mean, what is the conversation? So is our president not black? Is Lenny Kravitz not one of our greatest? What are we talking about? Is Lisa Bonét in or out?

I’m not mad because I understand. I understand that plight. My dad is a dark-skinned man. I understand that, I know what that is all day long. Have I lived it specifically? Yeah, I’m a black man.

They just reported I was the first black person to go number one on pop radio since Rihanna, but then you’re gonna shoot at me? What do you mean? I’m gonna turn 41 in April. Of course I’m doing this for us. What are you talking about, man?

My mom is a black woman who 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?

Charlemagne then makes a joke about including a dark skinned woman like Gabourey Sidibe in his next video to make people happy.

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.

Pharrell ended the conversation in regards to the black woman on the cover:

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.

Check out the video below:


Clutchettes, what do you think about his comments?

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  • Daniel Anderson

    Okay, so if Pharrell was one of those musicians that brands his music entirely for the black urban audience. I would get the black media outrage. The reality is Pharrell has made his millions working with and producing artist like Madonna, Britney Spears, Robin Thicke, Gwen Stefani, Miley Cyrus. His recent single from the new album GIRL has sold over a million copies overseas in the UK. Regardless of the black woman media controversy. If this was a hood rapper or one of the big name rythym and blues singers who have made much of there music success geared toward black women. I would see the argument. But Pharrell has produced everything from rock, pop, dance, house, reggae, rap, r&b. How can black media even think about making such a silly argument about Pharrell? Have they even listened to most of his music? Most of his audience isn’t even black.

  • noirluv45

    Daniel, your comment makes no sense. If a person is an artist, are you saying that they have to exclude possible listeners in lieu of others. I’m sure there are many Black women – in fact I KNOW – there are many Black people who listen to his music, so your attempt to excuse him is lame, and if you are a Black man – TYPICAL.

    He’s a Black man. He said this album is dedicated to ALL WOMEN, so, again, your comment is lame and a silly excuse for a Black man to excludes those who look like him. Nice try.

  • Daniel Anderson

    noirluv45, The title of Pharrell’s new album is GIRL. Not BLACK GIRL. Gee whiz, black women make up about 7 percent of the U.S. Population. And even less than that in western countries overseas. One of the women on his cover is black/light skinned. So technically, he is over representing black women on his cover. He has no asian women on his cover. No hispanic women on his cover. No indian women on his cover. And as I said in my previous comment, Pharrell has made music for a broad audience of listeners throughout his career. He has not allowed himself to be branded as just a urban audience music artist. And Pharrell looks very multiracial by the way. Although he identifies as being black. I always thought maybe he was part asian. Good for him to clarify his family background in recent interviews about this issue and stay true to the black heritage.

    • noirluv45

      Daniel, your reply is lame, yet expected. I know what the title of his album is. I can read, but apparently YOU can’t as Pharrell said his album was dedicated to “WOMEN.” Gee whiz, some men are always trying to silence the voices of Black women, yet those same men are the first to bark when they are discriminated again. So because we are supposedly “7% of the population” we should just sit down and be quiet simply because our voices make YOU uncomfortable. Are you Black, Daniel? If so, then you need to put a sock in your mouth because Black men don’t make up much of the population either.

      Being that you totally miss the concept of the complaints and by reading your replies, you are either trying to make excuses for this color struck Negro, or you are just like him. The “Black” woman he has on there is obviously mistaken for other, and since he had to tell us she was “Black,” (which, I’m sure she isn’t, but is biracial) makes our point clear. He could’ve had a Black (darker skinned) woman, White woman, Asian or Hispanic woman on his cover. Daniel you sound very ignorant to me. You said he looks “multiracial.” That statement right there tells me you aren’t Black, so you need to bow out this conversation. He looks like a light-skinned Black man to me. Do you think all Black people look the same? We come as dark as midnight to as light as daylight, and guess what, Daniel? It doesn’t make us mixed/multi-racial. Most of us have various shades and hues. It’s very clear to me that you don’t know what you are taking about, and if you happen to be Black, don’t sit there and act like you don’t know anything about colorism because it’s often (in the professional world) don’t to you so don’t insult my intelligence.

      I DON’T CARE what audience he caters too. He still has many Black fan, and unfortunately, Black women fans. If you are insinuating that the “broader” audience prefers to exclude Blackness, or more like, DARK skin, then you are saying the broader audience is not only racist, but lacks the mental capacity to realize that White/light ain’t always right, and that skin color has NOTHING to do with beauty. Are you saying that, Daniel? If so, then admit it. BTW, Black sells. Black makes money, so again, your “wider audience” nonsense is what Hollywood wants us to believe, but in reality, it’s fallacious. Look at Lupita Nyongo. To me, that beautiful chocolate woman with the smooth skin and intelligence and grace that has bowled over everyone regarding of race out does every last woman on that album cover (in my opinion). Now, if you, like the audience you are defending, have the miniscule mental capacity that accepts a one-size-fits-all standard of beauty, then that’s your and their ignorance, but when it comes to discrimination (and yes, colorism IS discrimination), I will call it out whether it’s a White, Black, or candy apple red person doing it.

      BTW, your first sentence about his album being called, “Black girl” makes no sense. No Black woman said he should have all Black women on his album cover, but what strikes me and let’s me know that many Black men are color struck and mental is that White, Asian, Mexican, etc. men would only represent their own kind in lieu of a Black woman. Think on that, Daniel.

  • Daniel Anderson

    noirluv45 really? Your arguments are almost the exact same ones made by Southern segregationists in the 1950s. Except they were making it primarily about the white race and their “prized” white women. And now the black women media has changed gender racial roles and made a similar racial segregationist argument about their “prized” black men. It’s ridiculous on so many levels to hear women of any race complain about the media not giving them enough attention. I think black women are basically plastered all over the media in the most sexualized ways imaginable of any race of women. Beyonce for example. I don’t think there is any doubt that the media portrays black women as sexually attractive.

    The real issue is how are black women AND men portraying themselves in the real world. Not just on tv and in movies. The reality is over 75 percent of black mothers are unmarried. Over 80 percent of black women are seriously overweight. More black men attend prison then attend college. Black men fight and kill one another in ridiculous numbers.

    I am not trying to dis black women at all. As I know all to well that there are countless gorgeous, smart, kind, and good spirited black women out there. That any man would be proud to be with. I attended a HBCU and grew up in one of the most affluent majority black suburbs in the entire United States. This is why I think so highly of black women and men. I know too many black men and women who don’t need to use race as a crutch. Being black is not something that gives you special treatment to be angry and bitter. And think others should just accept this. Nor should everything in life be on a racial quota system. Far too many black men and women find success in life to blame your lack of success on just being black. I find that the black women who would prefer segregation when it comes to relationships. Typically want a intelligent, attractive black man who will tell them their s**t don’t stink. And not too many men of any race like that exist. If a woman is bitter, enjoys arguing, is seriously overweight (a lot of these type of black women are). Then they more than likely aren’t seen as attractive by too many men of any race.