TORONTO – Alan Thicke wants to clear the air on “Blurred Lines,” his son Robin’s chart-conquering smash hit that has generated plaudits and controversy practically in equal measure.
The single has been criticized for its risque video — which features the junior Thicke along with collaborators Pharrell Williams and Atlanta rapper T.I. cavorting with topless models — as well as a lyrical refrain that allegedly implies a link to non-consensual sex (“I know you want it”).
But the artist’s Canadian-reared dad argues that critics are missing the point.
“I think that there are blurred lines within the ‘Blurred Lines,’” the affable 66-year-old said in a telephone interview from his California home.
“T.I.’s rap is kind of graphic, Robin’s point of view I think in his own parts of the song … is kind of female empowerment when you look at it. It’s not so much ‘we know you want it’ — it’s ‘we hope you want it.’ It’s still a guy waiting for permission, saying ‘I’m not your maker.’ Nobody grabs anybody. We’re waiting for permission here.
“And not only that, but it’s guys trying to be cute and funny. This is not a lascivious video. There’s no humping and grinding as we’ve been seeing in music videos for two decades now…. I don’t see these guys as being on the nose, overtly sexual. We’re not doing the Anthony Weiner story here, (they’re) just kind of putting it out there playfully and we’ll see who responds.”
The elder Thicke has watched with some bemusement as controversy has swelled around the buoyant toe-tapper, which currently sits at No. 1 on the charts in Canada as well as over a dozen other countries around the world.
He was particularly surprised that the presence of three topless models in the video — Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M’Bengue and Elle Evans — caused a stir.
“I’ve been watching music videos for a couple decades along with everybody else, and I’m actually a little surprised at the response at least to the nudity, because I’ve seen things I thought were much more sexual than simply (being) topless,” said the actor, producer and writer best-known for his role as Dr. Jason Seaver on the popular ’80s sitcom “Growing Pains.”
“If it was that simple to get global attention and create these maelstrom over simply taking your top off, hell, somebody should have done that long ago.”
Now on a roll, the screen veteran continues.
“For some reason, most of the other videos for years have been about booty…. For some reason when they switched from booty to boobie, everyone went nuts.”
Needless to say, Thicke is exceedingly proud of his son.
“It’s insane. I’m so thrilled,” said the father of three, who will get a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame next month. “He’s so deserving not only as an artist but as a human being. His work ethic is exemplary. I don’t know anybody that works harder than Robin or takes his art more seriously than he does.
“We talk every day. He’s a wonderful son and a great artist and I couldn’t be happier.”