Is It Just Us or Did The NAACP Image Awards Drop The Ball?

Last Thursday (Jan 9.), TV One announced nominees for the 45TH NAACP Image Awards. Robin Thicke, Janelle Monae and John Legend were the biggest nominees in the music field as they all scored four nominations each.

Not to pick on or single anyone out, but we thought Robin Thicke's nomination in the "Outstanding Song" category for his 2013 hit single "Blurred Lines" was a little uncharacteristic of the organization.

In the category, Thicke's "Blurred Lines" will battle John Legend's piano love ballad "All Of Me," Alicia Keys and Maxwell's sweet love story "Fire We Make," Janelle Monae's empowering tune "Q.U.E.E.N.," and Bruno Mars' retro-sounding single "Treasure."

Don’t get us wrong, these are also great songs, but only Thicke's "Blurred Lines" has faced controversies.

First, the song's theme is to take a domesticated good girl, and liberate her from a monogamous relationship, so she can feed the need of what another man can allegedly do better. (Bad Girl Image)

Secondly, the accompany music video for "Blurred Lines," especially the unrated version, which YouTube dropped, showcases women in scantily clad outfits, some even being naked, as they strut, dance, hold sheep and so forth. All this while being called the baddest b*tch! (Slutty Image)

Last but not least, Thicke is currently battling a copyright infringement lawsuit from Marvin Gaye's siblings, who claims he ripped "Blurred Lines" from the late icons classic "Got to Give It Up". You can read more about the latest in the case here!

Now in a normal world, all the aforementioned may be common in today’s society, but the NAACP should be held at a higher and more stringent level when it comes to nominating “Image Awards” recipients.

In short, here is the NAACP’s Image Awards goal:

There is no other organization that has confronted the misuse of media to influence negative public attitudes toward race like the NAACP. As early as 1915, it organized a nationwide protest against the negative portrayals of African Americans in “Birth of A Nation.” The founding members of the Association immediately understood the power and influence of the then new media of film. The Association has also been at the forefront of the struggle for the inclusion of all Americans, regardless of race, in the entertainment industry.

Today, the NAACP through the Hollywood Bureau, and support of its membership continues to monitor offensive and defamatory images in film and television, and its campaign for greater minority participation in the entertainment industry.

With that being said, how does the image portrayed by "Blurred Lines" fit into these goals? For one, the legal suit against "Blurred Lines" should of prevented the nomination because it's undecided if Thicke ripped his idea from Gaye's record. In the world of sports, this small hiccup would have prevented an athlete from winning the Heisman Trophy. In addition, the images portrayed visually and in lyrics spotlights women in a negative way.

If the NAACP doesn’t set or maintain a standard, who will?


Gary Gentles

Founder and Creator of and Follow me on Instagram at @gary.gentles.

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