“Women find it very difficult at times to find music,” a totally credulous Jimmy Iovine said Thursday on CBS This Morning, while seated next to Mary J. Blige, a woman who has a decades-long body of work about being self-sufficient in life, love and—yes—music.
Iovine, the head of Apple Music, was attempting to explain the “just kicking it with ya girls” commercials starring Blige, Taraji P. Henson, and Kerry Washington, which do in fact seem like a dream best friend hang, but whose first commercial together relegated them to talking about how Apple Music was like a boyfriend.
Iovine, who in his CBS interview (viewable here) seems to believe all women do is sit around and “complain” about boys, does in fact know actual, IRL women—we know this for a fact because he has worked with many; not just famous, powerful musicians such as Blige, Stevie Nicks and Lady Gaga, but those behind the scenes as well. One of these women, Ava DuVernay, directed this commercial at his request. It is interesting to wonder how someone like, say, Julie Greenwald or Sylvia Rhone might respond to that statement, as two of the most powerful women in the history of the music industry, who have not only discovered music on their own but have made superstars out of men such as Ed Sheeran, Fun., Fabolous, and Ol Dirty Bastard. Hmm...
“It was a genius idea to have girls, because that’s what we do, we listen to music,” says Mary J. Blige, a grown adult woman who was surely capable of choosing her own music before Apple Music, and will certainly be capable after. Iovine does not directly address that statement, perhaps because he is immune to the notion that apparently is not within his belief system, that women are not sitting around, hoping a man will come along and guide them through the process of “finding” music.
I have never met Mr. Iovine, but I have been writing about music as a profession for many, many years, and one of my favorite things to do is to “find” music. Before I started writing about music, I was capable of finding it as well. It certainly sounds like a conundrum, impossible I know, but it happens. If only Apple Music’s premise was not sexist at its very core, I might subscribe to it.
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Image via CBS/screenshot.