Pharrell Facing Backlash Over G I R L Cover

Producer responds to criticism for not using dark-skinned models on his album's artwork.

Posted: 02/27/2014 09:58 AM EST
Filed Under Music News, Pharrell

UPDATE: Pharrell called-in on The Breakfast Club to address the G I R L cover art controversy. According to P, those critics who said that none of the models were black should first check their facts.

"What really disappointed me is they jumped the gun because the one I'm standing closest to is black," P said. "... That just must suck, man, for people to look at something and to assume they know what’s going on. If they just bothered to listen to my album, they would know that my album was an ode to women, period ... When they find out that she is black, then what? Then we're arguing amongst ourselves within color. Then the argument's going to be she's not brown enough. Then my question to you is, are y’all asking me do I have an Indian person on the cover? Why aren't you asking about a Pakistani person? A Middle Eastern person on the cover? I just … man. What are we talking about?"

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Despite all the feel-good vibes of Pharrell's latest effort, G I R L, some fans are offended that he is the only one on the album's cover who has a bit more melanin than the others.

The artwork (pictured above) is for Skateboard P's second solo LP, and it features him pictured with three models whose ethnicity is unclear, but who are clearly light-skinned.

"Couldn't be more disappointed by @Pharrell's album cover. I was so looking forward to it too. Just, wow," tweeted writer @dreamhampton. 

"Images matter. They MATTER. And while they may not matter to YOU personally, you don't get to dismiss their importance on a macro level," added @Ladidahdi. 

"Well... I can only speak for me. Here's what I want: For Black women of all hues to be represented proportionately in popular culture," wrote @CorporateBarbie.

New York-based online modeling agency The Agency Online posted the notice for the casting of the artwork. No word from Pharrell or his camp as yet in regards to who had final say over the cover, or how he feels about its execution.

He is, however, happy that he is auctioning off his now-popular Grammy hat to raise money for education (It's on eBay bidding for at least $15,000. One hundred percent of the final bid will go toward One Hand to Another.). "@pepsi My hat will help kids get a better education, how's that for a #win? http://bit.ly/1fe5NvD @eBay," P tweeted recently. The bidding closes this weekend, before he performs at the Oscars, March 2.

G I R L is due in stores March 3. It's available to preview now as a live stream via iTunes Radio.

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