Boston University Students Want School to Cancel Robin Thicke Concert

They claim his lyrics promote rape culture.

Photo via Robin Thicke on Facebook

Photo via Robin Thicke on Facebook

Some Boston University students are making it crystal clear—they don’t want “Blurred Lines” singer Robin Thicke to perform at the school.

A petition started by members of the Humanists of Boston University are calling on school officials to cancel a spring concert featuring Thicke, on March 4, at the Agganis Arena, due to the “misogyny” they say is laced into the lyrics of the performer’s popular song.

“Having Thicke perform is a political statement that is out of touch with the realities of sexual violence and Boston University’s own history. Thus, we suggest that Robin Thicke’s performance be cancelled,” members of group wrote on the petition, which as of Wednesday morning had more than 1,100 names attached to it in support.

“Thicke’s hit song, ‘Blurred Lines,’ celebrates having sex with women against their will. Lyrics such as, ‘I know you want it,’ explicitly use non-consensual language. And while watching the extremely explicit video, the insinuations grow from subtle to explicit to obnoxious,” the group said.

Thicke performed “Blurred Lines” during the Grammy Awards in January, and was nominated in several categories for the pop song. But despite its worldwide success, some students still think even just one song containing controversial lyrics is one song too many.

The petition cited the university’s tradition of celebrated women, and the continued support the administration has offered as a way to combat sexual assault. “Clearly, Boston University has been a bedrock for feminism and ideologies of equality more generally. It is a dishonor to our feminist history to symbolically idolize Robin Thicke by allowing him to perform his misogynist music at our university,” the group said in their request to shutdown the show. “We kindly suggest that BU cancel Thicke’s performance, refund any ticket sales, and apologize for insinuating that sexism, or any form of baseless discrimination, is permissible at our institution.”

Students that signed the petition have also voiced their concerns about allowing Thicke to show up at Boston University, calling it “a massive disservice to the thousands of individuals on campus.”

“If you remain silent in the face of this petition and the voices of your students, you would have shown us which side you are on. Let’s not regress – please keep taking strides toward a campus that is safe for all,” wrote Rea Sowan.

The school responded to the petition by noting that it’s not set up by the university, and the show is just happening at the arena. Regardless, those against Thicke’s appearance plan to make their message heard.

The group has gone as far as beginning to organize a “small” protest outside the doors of the arena on the day of the concert.

The petition comes two years after the school was in the national spotlight for a series of alleged sexual assaults by members of the BU hockey team. The incident led to the school developing a task force to examine the hockey culture at the school, and creating the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Center.

Last year, across the river at Harvard University, students took a similar approach to trying to shut down a concert due to the featured artist’s lyrical content, when the school announced that rapper Tyga would be headlining a show on campus.

Like BU, a petition was started, garnering more than 1,000 signatures. That concert wasn’t cancelled, but organizers delayed the performance so that students could catch the opening acts, and leave before Tyga hit the stage.