GoldieBlox Write Open Letter to Beastie Boys, Remove "Girls" Parody Video
Published Nov 27, 2013It's been a strange week for beloved rap crew the Beastie Boys, who have had a litigation nightmare with GoldieBlox, the Bay Area toy company that parodied the band's song "Girls" in a new viral marketing campaign.
The video, which reinvented the band's song "Girls" to be an empowering feminist anthem for young women, didn't sit well with the band's Mike D and Ad-Rock, who claim the company used their song in an ad without their permission.
In an open letter to the company earlier this week, the Beasties wrote, "As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads."
Rather than keep arguing about what's fair use and what isn't, GoldieBlox has succumbed to the Beastie Boys' request and taken the video down. It has also come close to even apologizing to the group.
Here's the company's open letter in full:
Dear Adam and Mike,
We don't want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.
When we made our parody version of your song, 'Girls', we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to take a song we weren't too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls. Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It's been incredible to watch.
Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.
We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising. Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.
Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video. In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.
We don't want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.
Debbie + Team GoldieBlox