Justin Timberlake - "Tunnel Vision" Video

The comparisons between Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke essentially haven’t ceased since Thicke released his falsetto-laden, guitar&B track “Lost Without U.” However, it was usually Timberlake being exalted as the better of the two until this year, due to the crossover appeal of Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and its video filled with topless women. Timberlake is now being called out as the copycat via his video for “Tunnel Vision,” a boobs-party unto itself. This clip does have a few other subtle similarities, too, including Timberlake dancing in front of a minimal, white background and bold typography displaying the name of the song. Is this plagiarism, a knowing-nod, or a coincidence? Watch below.

The 20/20 Experience is out now via RCA.

Comments (44)
  1. I think the better question is: “Is any of this ok?” Where are all of the topless guys? Is this objectification?

    • Good question. I feel like every time any progress is made in getting away from objectifying women in music, some big name act comes along with a new album or video that says, “Hey, I found a cool loop hole to distract you from all that, and it’s called ‘pretending that it’s art.’”

    • I’ve been feeling the same way about these clips. I mean, I love boobs as much as the next guy but this is really just blatantly using women as props for the guys.

      At least in the Robin Thicke clip the women looked like they were actually having fun as opposed to just writhing around looking sexy… Not saying the Blurred Lines clip is much better, it’s still the same sort of glammed up sexism that Terry Richardson peddles as Arrrrrrttttt.. but at least it was kinda light-hearted..

      maybe I’m getting old and boring, but using women in art solely because they are hot and/or topless doesn’t really do it for me anymore. Sigh.

      • I’d almost say woman looking like “they were actually having fun” is worse in this situation. That justifies the objectification by saying “Hey, at least they like it!”

        • Get it? JUSTIFIES?

        • Fair point, but I think at least the women in Blurred Lines were allowed to have a bit of personality which the women in Tunnel Vision definitely didn’t have. Not that that makes it miles better or anything, but at least they seemed to have a little bit of control of the situation, whereas in Tunnel Vision they were little more than props.

          And on Kanye, it’s hard to take anything he says seriously since he’s such an asshole. Sure what he says is distasteful, but we’re hardly put in a position to agree with him. His whole world view seems to leave him feeling depressed, alone and empty so he’s not exactly ‘glorifying’ misogyny, he’s kinda just showing how shit it leaves him feeling.

          Maybe it’s a bit tenuous, but at least it’s not as in your face as Tunnel Vision or Blurred Lines

    • I’d say it’s pretty straight foward objectification, and I have a pretty thick skin about that kind of thing. The fact that JT is always clothed and separate (not-vulnerable) is pretty domineering. I have no problem with nudity in art or even as art in of itself, but it’s all in how it relates to the context of the piece and the viewer, and the only thing I’m getting from this is “Justin will like me (and by marketing-proxy, you) if I’m (you are) naked and pliable.”

    • Conclusion: music video objectifies women.

    • I don’t know, but the first minutes look really good. The lighting is pretty, the poses are interesting, some good shots. I would call that art. The rest it pretty distasteful, with the projections of Justin’s face over the girls’ boobs…

    • My only problem with the video is the concept. If you’re going to have the women, at least have his projected face on them more often and play with that concept more. Otherwise it’s just nudity.

      Having said that I actually think this video is LESS blatantly sexual and objectifying than “Blurred Lines.” There is an element of artistic eroticism here, nudity as art, whereas the Robin Thicke track (despite having no blatant nudity) is completely objectifying the women as sexual objects. I find this to be much more tasteful, albeit slightly off the mark as far as concept goes.

      I sure hope none of you complaining about the objectification of women are in the group praising Kanye’s new work. What makes his lyrics justifiable but this video not?

      • Also, the Robin Thicke comparison would hold much more water if the two were even comparable musically. Similar styles maybe, but Robin Thicke isn’t anywhere near as good as JT.

        • ^ (speaking of their music here, not the video)

        • Honestly the Thicke song/video is the worst offender, as it’s pretty much an endorsement of male privilege and rape culture, with a winking “aren’t we being such scamps!” vibe that honestly just makes the whole thing worse (the director and Thicke have suggested this should make me feel otherwise. I don’t).

          The Timberlake video is primarily lazy, I agree. But still, if you’re going to fill your video chock full of nudity just to get some buzz on the internet, at least go equal opportunity and show some naked dudes. Fair enough? This clothed man/naked woman bullshit… SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH THIS POWER DYNAMIC AND I DON’T THINK YOU GET IT.

          As for the Kanye album –– sure there’s problems lyrically, mainly with “Blood on the Leaves.” But most of the over-the-top sexual stuff is really just there for that reason –– it’s supposed to be a provocation, and a really in your face depiction of him asserting his sexuality in ridiculous ways. I think that’s actually more artful and far more palatable (for me at least) than these fucking Thicke/Timberlake videos.

          • Honestly, you should never say honestly twice in one sentence. Honest mistake.

          • Good points about having nude dudes. Again, not the most conceptually apt video, but far from the most offensive thing I’ve seen/heard.

            I’m gonna have to disagree with the Kanye thing. I fail to see how his intentions to blatantly offend make the offense less offensive. I mean I get the “punk” attitude of it all, sure. But it’s sad to me that this “punk” or “pimp” attitude justifies otherwise horrible subjects and lyrics. People are willing to look the other way because “Oh, that’s just Kanye, he WANTS to offend me, so it’s art.” I just think it’s funny how some “artists” get away with things we’d otherwise condemn. If Timberlake’s video is “offensive” despite it’s intentions, I don’t see how Kanye’s lyrics are any better.

          • (crania, you make good points, I’m not trying to start a cyber-fight or anything… just two sides of the coin)

      • Kanye’s new work is musically exciting to me, as far as what’s coming out of the “huge artist” category, and lyrically poisonous and it does make the album pretty cringeworthy. JT’s new video is just kind of lame and very lazy. What disturbs me most about it is how I personally know some of his female fans who will defend it to the death by virtue of it JUST being Justin Timberlake (which is a commentary about some of my friends, not all women.)

        So, Kanye and Justin both score low marks.

        • I agree the video is slightly lazy, specifically conceptually as I mentioned. The lack of obvious concept lends itself to it being “just nudity” and therefore maybe more sexual than erotic. (My art school degree has me thinking way too hard about that aspect). And you are right, there are female fans who will love this (or Robin Thicke) despite themselves, simply because it’s JT or RT. I imagine the same type of people love Kanye’s cringeworthy dribble simply because it’s Kanye.
          I just don’t get the comparisons above to Robin Thicke. Nobody complained about that video when it came out despite it being just as sexual. Unfortunately, people equate nudity to overt sexuality (which is understandable), but the body itself isn’t inherently sexual. It’s the context that makes it so. And in that case, “Blurred Lines” is far more sexual (lyrically and visually) and should be far more offensive to these same people if we’re going down that road. Having said all that, I don’t necessarily mind either song or video. I’m just sayin’, lets be consistent here.

          Kudos to you for not being a hyprocrite though, Gmarley. You make some good points.

          • Word up. And to be clear, I thought the RT thing was awful and actually made me way more angry than the JT video because it’s WAY too wink-wink about the whole thing. At the very least, Justin has some kind of infatuation thing going on, even if it’s blurred horribly by the multiple women, and ironically, the laziness does work in the video’s favor because really, it’s just naked people kind of dancing with a tone-deaf concept, and in Kanye’s lyrics, there IS a palpable sadness and frustration about “the life” which is on some level interesting and makes you wonder, is this guy losing his marbles? In the Robin Thicke video, these women are just prancing for the benefit of their male dominants, and he doles out his attention when it damn well pleases him, all with a knowing smirk. It would be just as obnoxious if they had some more clothing on.

          • You actually make a great point about Kanye. I suppose I can see the appeal in that sense watching-a-train-wreck sense. Not a glorification of it, but more an open door. As much as I dislike Kanye, it kind of pains me to admit that I understand that. Still, in his case, Kanye is more an artist I can sometimes respect, but I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy.

    • Why in the hell would there be topless guys? There are topless guys on TV in commercials during prime time. This video is AWESOME! It’s nice to see a male pop artist (not rap artist) actually acknowledge it’s perfectly fine to want to look at hot women.

  2. It would feel more meaningful if it was just 1 girl. Instead he sings “All I see is you” over shots of 3 topless girls at once. Pshhh. His “tunnel vision” isn’t so tunnel-y.

    • Agree, it should start with three topless girls and then gradually narrow to one topless girl and then just one breast.

    • I’m not sure if it was intentional, but there was one specific girl that caught my attention every single time (short haired, slightly Asian looking). Whenever it showed her, even if others were around, she stole the show. She also seemed to get more solo time.

      Again, not sure if it was intentional, but I personally had tunnel-vision watching this in that case.

  3. I just wanna see a music video for “Pusher Love Girl”. Many new contenders have stepped up in the past few months, but that song is still definitely in the running for song of the year in my book.

  4. woozefa  |   Posted on Jul 4th, 2013 -2

    everybody knows i love titties. everybody knows i love titties!

  5. Great video! I’m sure the women were paid well, wanted to be in the video and feel beautiful. And, THEY ARE! I love women!

  6. More generic crap from another artist that gets hyped on all the blogs. Robin Thicke is far from being original(at least he wasn’t in a boy band), but his song is much better than this.

  7. Like the video, love the album

  8. Does anyone know who came up with the concept for JT’s video or who directed it? I know that RT just wanted a fun video but the video director (who is a woman) Diane Martel came up with the concept and was asked by RT to make two versions. They were portraying old men (and any woman knows a lot of old men holler cat calls at women because they are trying to relive their younger lives) trying to get a young womans attention. In the video the girls are not paying them any attention. (like are you serious). so I get the concept.

    From what I’ve read, JT’s video is suppose to be directed at this wife to say I only see you. If that is truely the case, then why are the girls naked. His video would make more sense if he was in the porn industry.
    I think it is entirely possible that he did “a copy” to draw attention to this song. I don’t think this song will be helped by the video at all. It’s not that good.

    Blurred Lines just as the song was already charting before the video. It has a catchy beat and hook that you can remember after hearing it once. I’ve listened to Tunnel Vision several times and still can only remember “I have tunnel vision for you” or something like that. Still not sure.

    • “From what I’ve read, JT’s video is suppose to be directed at this wife to say I only see you. If that is truely the case, then why are the girls naked.”

      Isn’t that self evident? The idea is that even though there are nude women directly around, he only sees his true love.

      • And to prove his point the women had to be naked. I don’t think so. Could’t the point be proved by showing him in a situation where clothed women are flirting to try and get his attention.

  9. Having just watched it, I don’t see what’s so bad about the nudity. There are worse depictions of women on prime time TV.

  10. This video is boring. The Robin Thicke one was fun.

  11. why does timbaland always have to mime playing the trumpet when there’s a trumpet-like synth sound?!

  12. If not for the scenes with naked women, this video would look just like Dutch Uncles’ video for Flexxin. Given that JT is a pretty entertaining dancer, I think that’d be preferable.

  13. I like the song more than the video. The internet is overrun with naked women. If there’s not some kind of interesting reason for them to be in the video I’d rather just see the artist dancing around, lip-syncing on their own. It doesn’t really make sense with the lyrical content, either. The song is about how he loves/wants one woman so much that he gets tunnel vision for her alone. So why is there multiple naked women in the video? I didn’t care for the Blurred Lines naked video either, but at least a little bit of sense could be made of the multiple naked women in that one. And for the record, I looooooves me some naked women. But this isn’t the 80s – kids don’t have to sneak a peek at their parents hidden porn to catch a glimpse of some titties. They’re everywhere! So there had better be some kind of reason for them to be in your video.

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