On the surface, the story of GoldieBlox’s Beastie Boys-skewering toy commercial was a heartwarming one. Independent company takes a misogynistic song by since-reformed hip hop legends and repurposes it as girl-power anthem. Everyone is happy!
Except: well-intentioned though it may be, GoldieBlox is still a commercial, for-profit company. And late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, who died at age 47 last year, stated in his will that the group’s music should never be used in commercials.
Now, after some legal back-and-forth between the two parties, GoldieBlox has decided to pull “Girls” from the spot. The company also wrote an open letter to the Beastie Boys. Full text below:
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