Robin Thicke Keeps it Creepy: That Happened


ColumnRobin Thicke’s new video is the stalker jam we’ve all been waiting for.

Everyone’s favorite creepy uncle Robin Thicke, who brought us “Blurred Lines,” the rape hit of summer 2013, is back with a new video.

It’s disturbing in a whole new way.

In February, Robin Thicke and his wife Paula Patton separated. While it’s hard to pinpoint why, and I’m no marriage counselor, this photo of his hand nestled between a young woman’s ass cheeks might be a clue.

Thicke just released his the first video, “Get Her Back,” from the forthcoming album, “Paula.” The good news is that the song is super boring and very unlikely to take over the world like “Blurred Lines” did.

The bad news is that this video sends a scary message about relationships. Let’s be clear that this weepy, formulaic, god-awful song wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar if not for the super scary video. In my dreams, this is a PR move and Thicke isn’t actually stalking or threatening Paula Patton.

Dreams of a better world for pop musicians and their exes aside, let’s talk first about how you can read the title in two ways. There’s the lost love angle, but there’s also a little vengeance here, right?!

I might not have noticed that double entendre if not for the video. Here’s a breakdown of Robin Thicke’s on-screen breakdown (I watched it all so you don’t have to): There’s moody lighting, streaming tears and text messages popping up that we’re supposed to assume are notes he and Paula sent each other. The texts appear over violent imagery, including a possible drowning and Thicke pretending to shoot himself in the head, making this the scariest episode of Pop Up Video ever.

The video ends with the chilling words: “This is just the beginning.”

First of all, if my estranged husband ever sent me a text using “u” in place of “you” I would call my lawyer immediately and finalize that shit. But, more importantly, I would also ask for a restraining order.

And let’s flip this for a second. What if this was a woman singing? Would anyone think it was romantic or would we call her a psycho stalker? I think we know. Are we so hungry to see an emotional man that we’re willing to accept stalking in its place?

The fact that anyone would ever call this video romantic and that there’s a #TakeHimBack trend on Twitter is deeply disturbing. There’s nothing romantic about making someone feel unsafe. There’s nothing romantic about stalking or public harassment.

These lines aren’t blurry at all.

That Happened is Libby Lowe’s weekly column for EcoSalon analyzing media, news and pop culture through a feminist lens. Keep in touch with Libby @LibbyLowe.

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