Beastie Boys combat use of their song “Girls” in viral ad (video)
The video, released by toy company GoldieBlox, parodies the 1968 song to break down gender stereotypes—but the band says it’s not fair use
Tue Nov 26 2013
Still via Goldiebox
The Beastie Boys are facing off against toy company GoldieBlox for gone-viral advertisement "Princess Machine." The clip—which has racked up more than eight million views on YouTube since its November 17 release—promotes the Oakland startup’s goal of empowering girls to be builders, inventors and engineers. To sell the message, they show young'uns creating a huge Rube Goldberg machine out of rejected pink and princess-y toys, and putting new lyrics to the NYC rap-rock trio's 1986 song “Girls.”
Instead of the Beastie Boys’ original lyrics ("Girls to do the dishes / Girls to clean up my room / Girls to do the laundry / Girls and in the bathroom"), the kids sing, "Girls build a spaceship / Girls code the new app / Girls that grow up knowing / That they can engineer that."
According to the preemptive lawsuit filed by GoldieBlox last week, the company "created [the] parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song." The band, in response, sent an open letter yesterday stating that, while they support the empowering message of the video, "long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads." The video, they note, is creative and empowering, but it is still trying to sell a product: GoldieBlox toys. (There's also the fact that in his will, the late Adam Yauch stipulated that neither his image nor music should be used in advertisements.)
Check out the video—which we’ve got to admit is pretty cool—below.
(h/t The New York Times)
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)