Humanists of Boston University, a social justice and activism organization, has collected 1,100 signatures for a petition demanding BU’s administration cancel Robin Thicke’s upcoming performance at Agganis Arena.
“It is a dishonor to our feminist history to symbolically idolize Robin Thicke by allowing him to perform his misogynist music at our University,” the petition stated.
BU spokesman Colin Riley said BU’s administration had no role in scheduling Thicke’s March 4 performance.
“This is not a BU concert,” he said. “This is Agganis Arena, one stop of a 16-show tour, for Robin Thicke to perform.”
HBU’s petition, hosted on Change.org, is not only asking BU to cancel Thicke’s show and refund ticket sales, but also to “apologize for insinuating that sexism, or any form of baseless discrimination, is permissible at our institution.”
Riley said it is highly unlikely that the show would be canceled.
“You’re talking about a college campus where it’s anathema to ban things,” he said. “We respect our students’ views, but those are those students’ views.”
BU’s administration has not received a petition requesting they cancel the concert, Riley said.
Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines,” nominated for a best pop duo/group performance Grammy award this year, has drawn criticism from feminist groups at BU and around the world for its allegedly misogynistic messages.
“BU is making a mistake in allowing Robin Thicke to continue to perform here,” said College of Arts and Sciences freshman Tori Dutcher-Brown.
Dutcher-Brown, a Public Relations representative for BU’s Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism, said Thicke’s song may be triggering for victims of sexual assault and rape.
“Saying ‘I know you want it,’ ‘you’re a good girl,’ those words are words that have been used by attackers in many sexual assaults,” she said. “BU’s on the wrong side of the issue by allowing this to happen.”
Chung-Hsin Hou, a CAS sophomore, said though he had no opinion on Thicke’s music, he was aware of the controversy that surrounded “Blurred Lines.”
“When you view a piece of work, like music, art, you have to just take it as what it is and try not to think too much about it,” he said. “Enjoy what you can. If you don’t like it, then just don’t see it.”
CAS junior Rea Sowan said Thicke’s music promulgates misogynist messages.
“Having an artist, if you can even say that about him, who has made his message as loud and clear as he has come play at BU… is a very clear statement that Boston University is not committed to fighting back against rape culture,” Sowan said.
Bino Cerqueira, a School of Management junior, said allegations of this nature are excessive.
“It’s exaggerated to say that BU is condoning or promoting rape culture by allowing Robin Thicke to hold a performance at Agganis Arena,” he said. “I would think that it was ridiculous if BU just shut down the performance.”
Sowan said Thicke’s scheduled performance at Agganis Arena would be offensive and insulting.
“The issues of sexual assault and rape have become really prevalent in conversations around Boston University, which has been great,” Sowan said. “This kind of negates everything that has happened.”
Riley said Thicke is one of many performers charged with espousing inappropriate messages.
“Look at all the entertainers in the country who have been criticized for a range of things,” he said. “People who are interested are able to purchase a ticket and attend the concert. If they’re not interested, they don’t have to purchase a ticket.”