Former American Idol mentor, Jimmy Iovine, made some dubious comments about women and their ability to find music on their own in a recent CBS Sunday Morning interview. The current Apple Music executive was on hand to promote the company’s new streaming service.
While discussing a current TV commercial, featuring Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige and Kerry Washington, Jimmy declared women have a hard time finding music on their own, and Apple is here to help them!
You can watch the full interview at Yahoo Music, but here is an excerpt of Jimmy’s scintillating (in his own mind) remarks.
So I always knew that women find it very difficult at times – some women – to find music. And [Apple Music] helps make it easier with playlists, curated by real people. They’re not made by algorithms alone. They’re made by algorithms, but with a human touch.
I just thought of a problem: Girls are sitting around talking about boys – or complaining about boys. They need music for that, right? It’s hard to find the right music. Not everybody has the right lists, or knows a DJ or something.
Yeah, we wimmens just sit around thinking about boys. And if we don’t have one handy to tell us what’s cool in music, it’s Apple Music to the rescue! I’ve been doing pretty well discovering music on my own, so I’ll be hanging on to my Spotify subscription, thanks a bunch.
Here’s the new ad Jimmy was promoting on CBS, with Mary J. Blige in tow.
It’s a pretty adorable commerical, until the moment when Kerry gushes, “It’s like you have a boyfriend that makes you a mixtape – in your laptop!” followed by “INSTANT BOYFRIEND MIXTAPE SERVICE” flashing on the screen. In light of Jimmy’s dumb, sexist remarks, there is an INSTANT loss of appeal. I love these three women. But. NO.
As Lyndsey Parker quipped, “The ad makes it unclear if Apple offers an “instant girlfriend mixtape service” for heterosexual male music-lovers.” Sing it, sister.
The backlash on social media was so severe, that Jimmy released a statement:
We created Apple Music to make finding the right music easier for everyone – men and women, young and old. Our new ad focuses on women, which is why I answered the way I did, but of course the same applies equally for men. I could have chosen my words better, and I apologize.
That apology is a non-apology. offering no evidence that he understands why critics are so angry with him. Nor does he seem to care or have any interest in examining his baseless and old-school sexist beliefs. Boo Jimmy. If you’re going to market to woman, you need to educate yourself first.
James Durbin, who came in 4th place on American Idol season 10, and worked with Jimmy during his season had a frank reaction to the brouhaha.
— James Durbin (@DurbinRock) November 20, 2015