And now, in a surprising move, GoldieBlox, the toy company that took on girl stereotypes, is taking on the Beastie Boys, the band that first made the song, “Girls,” popular.
In a new lawsuit, the company claims “The Beastie Boys have now threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement” over what the company calls its “highly sexist song ‘Girls.’”
Instead of the original 1987 hit’s lyrics, “Girls to do the dishes, girls to do the laundry,” GoldieBlox replaced the lyrics with more girl-empowerment words, “Girls to build the spaceship, girls to code the new app.”
The company says that by changing the lyrics, the song becomes a parody and protects them from any future Beastie Boys legal action.
“GoldieBlox states in its complaint very clearly that their lyrics are making fun of, in essence criticizing the Beastie Boys lyrics in the song ‘Girls,’” Entertainment attorney Cintia Calevoso told ABC News.
But the Beastie Boys are singing a much different tune. They say talk about a lawsuit is false, telling ABC News: “There was no complaint filed, no demand letter (no demand, for that matter) when they [GoldieBlox] sued Beastie Boys.”
Beastie Boys band members Mike D and Ad-Rock further attempt to clarify their stance on the viral commercial by writing an open letter to GoldieBlox.
“Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial ‘GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,’ we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad,” they wrote. “We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering. 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. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song ‘Girls’ had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.”
This begs the question of whether this is just a case of sue or be sued.
“If there is any apparent threat, they want it resolved quickly,” said Eriq Gardner, senior editor of The Hollywood Reporter. “They don’t want to wait for the Beastie Boys to sue them.”
It’s a similar preemptive tactic Robin Thicke took this summer in his battle with Marvin Gaye’s family over his hit, “Blurred Lines.”
However, in that case, Gaye’s family has now countersued Thicke. Only time will tell if the Beastie Boys will take these creative girls to court.