Tell MTV: No Awards for Rape Culture!

  • by: The Musogyny Project
  • recipient: Jeff Castaneda, MTV Vice President, Tamika Young, MTV Publicist
Despite the blatant objectification of women and promotion of violence against women in Robin Thicke's song and video "Blurred Lines," MTV has nominated this video for three Video Music Awards: Best Male Video, Best Collaboration, and Video of the Year. Tell MTV not to reward rape culture, but instead to take action against it by withdrawing "Blurred Lines" from all nominations at the VMAs.

"Blurred Lines" has been called "a rapist's charter" by Gail Walker of the Belfast Telegraph. MTV should not be rewarding music artists for their support of violence against women. Take action now to stop rape culture from being culturally accepted.
Dear Mr. Castaneda and Ms. Young,

We ask that you withdraw Robin Thicke's video "Blurred Lines," featuring Pharrell and T.I., from nomination for all awards presented at the MTV Video Music Awards on account of the horrific treatment of women normalized by the song itself and in particular by the video, which is currently nominated for Best Male Video, Best Collaboration, and Video of the Year.

The video has been decried for its sexism and promotion of rape culture by Bertie Brandes of Vice UK, Gail Walker of the Belfast Telegraph, and Andrea Warner of the Canadian Broadcasting Company, among others, as well as by bloggers and freelance journalists including I. Smith of “Still Not Shutting Up, who is a co-creator of The Musogyny Project. Ms. Warner, in her blog post "Misogyny Makes a Comeback: Kanye, Robin Thicke and degrading women" (link above), makes the claim that "Blurred Lines," among other songs, is emblematic of "new kind of misogyny, a deliberate and task-oriented degradation and objectification of women that's far more disturbing than the casual, inherent misogyny of generations past." In fact, Thicke himself admits that his video degrades women in his May 7 interview with GQ Magazine.

MTV has noted the need for programs that combat violence against women; the webpage "MTV Sitewide: Get Help Now" lists the National Sexual Assault Hotline under the heading "Problems bigger than you can handle?" and on the same page lists websites that provide help for "dating abuse" (loveisrespect, The Safe Space), girls and women's health (National Women's Health Information Center), and sexual assault (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network). Indeed, MTV's own sexual health campaign is called "It's Your Sex Life." "Blurred Lines" teaches women that our sex lives are not ours at all, and is thus in conflict with the purported aims of MTV itself. It is therefore unacceptable that MTV would nominate this video for excellence in three different categories.

We therefore call on MTV to remove "Blurred Lines" from nomination for any awards presented at the 2013 Video Music Awards. MTV has an opportunity in "Blurred LInes" to state in a public manner that violence against women is a serious issue and a serious crime, and it is therefore unacceptable to promote or give awards to a video that promotes a culture that supports such gender-based violence.
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