Have you heard the new song by Jamie Foxx (featuring T-Pain)? It is called “Blame It”. In case you haven’t I’ve got it for you right here, along with the lyrics so you can read along:
The official video
Here are the lyrics (unofficial)
This makes me sad. I have (or had) a tremendous amount of respect for Jamie Foxx as an actor, comedian and musician. He is incredibly talented without question. It is sad to see him write a song that promotes getting a girl drunk for the purposes of having sex her. Wait…there is another way to say that. Oh yeah…a song that promotes rape. Surprised at that? I am sure Jamie Foxx would be too.
You see, I don’t believe that Jaime Foxx set out to write a song that promotes rape. I bet he still doesn’t know that he wrote a song that promotes rape. In fact, I bet if you asked him about it he would look at you like you are crazy (perhaps the same way you might look at me if I were there right now). Before you rush to judgement or dismiss my words, hear me out.
This is a case of Jamie Foxx being ignorant. Before you get it twisted, ignorant means uninformed or unaware, not stupid. I am not insulting Mr. Foxx. I am merely pointing out that he, like so many male musicians, doesn’t realize what he is actually saying in those lyrics. He doesn’t know what damage he is doing by making a song like that. I think he came up with a catchy hook and a snappy tune that would have mass appeal to the part of society that has the power to keep him relevant and profitable. I also believe he is pressured by his record label, J-Records (owned and operated by Sony Music Entertainment) to write songs that are risque and a little taboo to create a buzz around his music. Being controversial sells records. This is not diverting blame to other places. Jamie Foxx needs to be held accountable for his role in this. However, he is not the only one that needs to shoulder the blame. We also need to take a look at Sony, the radio industry, MTV, VH1, BET, Ron Howard, Jake Gyllenhall, Forest Whitaker, Samuel L. Jackson, WalMart, Target, Amazon and many others. This song is part of a much larger system designed to generate profit at the expense of, and without regard to, women and people of color.
Do you know that Foxx performed the song on American Idol in April? Do you know that American Idol is the number one rated show for children 13 and under? What message is this sending to the teens and tweens that are fans of American Idol? Just in case it isn’t clear, I will tell you. The message for boys is that it is perfectly acceptable for you to get a girl drunk and take advantage of her when she is “loosened up”. For girls, the message is that if you have too much to drink then it is your fault if you are raped. For a 13 year old (or younger) those messages are very strong and sticky. This is the age when youth are forming their attitudes and beliefs about healthy sexuality. If the message they get is that drug facilitated sexual assault is acceptable, then we have a huge problem on our hands. Songs like this reinforce promote and gender inequality.
We cannot remain silent while musicians from every genre of music crank out song after song that sexualizes, objectifies and commodifies women. We have to send a very clear message to the entertainment industry that we demand something different. We can no longer support an industry that is willing to make their money off of the backs of women. We have created a culture that supports violence against women and that must stop. It is time we build a society that values women for their intelligence, insight and wisdom rather than their sexuality and beauty. It starts with an awakening. We must start talking about these issues publicly and we must inspire others to do the same. It is our job to throw a few stones into the water and create a ripple effect.
Jamie Foxx is scheduled to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 18. Please consider contacting Ellen DeGeneres and urge her to talk to Jamie Foxx about this song and the messages embedded in it. I don’t want her to cancel him as a guest. I would much rather see an honest discussion about the issue. While I don’t feel it is Ellen’s (or any other woman’s) responsibility to confront him, she is in an unique position to bring this issue up publicly. If you’d like to encourage Ellen to take action you can reach her on Twitter (@TheEllenShow) or through her website at http://ellen.warnerbros.com/. Sadly, Jamie Foxx has no contact information on his official website http://www.jamiefoxx.com. If you find a way to contact him, please put it in the comments or tweet it.
***If you are on Twitter, be sure to follow me @responsiblemen. Also, please use the hash tag #ignorantfoxx on any tweets related to this topic so that we can track our efforts. Thanks!