Pharrell is under attack yet again after he released the cover art for his single “Marilyn Monroe” which featured a dark-skinned woman in place of the white girl with blonde hair fans expected to see.
The backlash comes only a few weeks after he was under attack for not featuring a dark-skinned model on his “G I R L” album cover, and for his perspective of the “new Black” that he discussed during a television interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Now it appears that some music lovers are so upset with Pharrell that anything he does at this point will be met with some online criticism.
After featuring the dark-skinned beauty on the cover art, Twitter and Instagram filled with accusations that Pharrell only changed the cover to get critics off his back.
There is currently no proof that there was another cover to begin with.
Others felt as if the cover was still a bit of a jab from the “Happy” singer.
“Marilyn Monroe was the iconic Hollywood made female stereotype,” one user tweeted. “drug addicted, chronically depressed, type B… well played @Pharrell.”
Then, of course, there were those who were upset that a Black woman was being used at all.
“Is Pharrell unaware that Marilyn Monroe was white or is he trying too hard to make people that were mad bout his album cover happy,” another user tweeted.
His explanation of the song, however, may serve as the real explanation of why he chose to feature the dark-skinned Black woman in place of the iconic Hollywood beauty.
“[I] sort of [wanted to] reverse the connotation behind these statuesque standards of what beauty has to be,” he told MTV back in March about the song. “That which makes you different is actually the thing that makes you special.”
With that in mind, it appears as if Pharrell replaced the image of the classical Hollywood beauty – white woman, blue eyes, blonde hair, curves in just the right places – with a stunning dark-skinned woman.
What that means, however, is still up to the interpretation of others.
So far the general consensus via Twitter is that Pharrell is a “disconnected” Black man who is happy to have been accepted by the mainstream media and the white community and who no longer understands that racism still exists.
The frustrations with Pharrell stem from his comments on the “new Black” where he insisted that the “new Black,” whatever that means, doesn’t blame other races for their problems.
“The new Black doesn’t blame other races for our issues,” he tells Oprah in the interview. “The new Black dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation, it’s a mentality.”
As The Guardian explains: “At best, [Pharrell’s] inner hippie needs to check its privilege, at worst he is denying racism through the demarcation of old Black and new.”