Toy Company Pulls Beastie Boys Song From Viral Video
By DAVE ITZKOFF
A San Francisco-area toy company offered an olive branch to the Beastie Boys on Wednesday, saying that it had no intentions of fighting the rap group over a popular online video that used a parody of the band’s song “Girls.” The company has removed the parody song from the video.
“We don’t want to fight with you,” the toy company, GoldieBlox, said in an open letter to the Beastie Boys. “We love you and we are actually huge fans.”
GoldieBlox, which makes toys and games designed to encourage young women’s interests in engineering, had gained widespread attention for the video, set to an alternate version of “Girls,” in which girls sang about all the feats of science they can accomplish. (In the original song, the Beastie Boys rapped about women’s prowess “to do the dishes” and “to clean up my room.”)
Last week, GoldieBlox filed a lawsuit against the Beastie Boys, asserting what it said was its right to use its version of “Girls” in the video and saying that it had been created “to comment on the Beastie Boys song” and was “recognized by the press and the public as a parody and criticism of the original song.”
Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond, the surviving members of the Beastie Boys, responded to the suit in an open letter on Monday. “As creative as it is,” they said of the video, “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,” the letter continued, “YOU sued US.”