The toy company GoldieBlox has pulled a parody version of the Beastie Boys‘ “Girls” from a viral advertising campaign, telling the rap group, “We don’t want to fight with you.” Use of the song to advertise construction toys aimed at young girls had prompted an inquiry from the band’s lawyers, followed by a pre-emptive lawsuit from GoldieBlox.
“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,” GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling wrote today in a blog post first reported by The New York Times. “Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.”
Sterling wrote that the company is ready to drop the suit they filed last week against the Beastie Boys, “as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.”
Surviving Beastie Boys Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz expressed incredulity about the lawsuit in an open letter earlier this week. “Long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads,” their letter read in part. “When we tried to simply ask how and why our song ‘Girls’ had been used in your ad without our permission, you sued us.”
Sterling wrote that parents have sent the company pictures and videos of their kids singing the parody version of “Girls” while building contraptions inspired by the “Princess Machine” the girls constructed in the GoldieBlox video, which has since been made private. All the same, Sterling wrote, the company is determined to do the right thing.
“We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles,” Sterling wrote. “We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.”
A rep for the Beastie Boys told Rolling Stone there was “no further comment yet.”