On 5th October fans of adult contemporary music celebrated the news of a brand-new Maroon 5 album. The first since 2014's V, Red Pill Blues (out 4th November) is set to take over dentists' offices and easy listening stations the world over. Just one thing: The band had no idea that the album's title shares its name with a men's rights slogan.
The AV Club reports that the connection is totally unintentional and the band meant to give fans a dose of nostalgia by referencing The Matrix.
Those unfamiliar with a very specific online community of misogynists — like Adam Levine and Co. must blissfully be — may not know that men's rights activists have taken the red pill from the 1999 film and used it to refer to their "reawakening." In the movie, Neo (Keanu Reeves) is offered the choice of a red pill or a blue one. Blue would keep him in a computer simulation and red would wake him up in the real world. According to the AV Club, thanks to a more metaphorical red pill, MRAs have "woken up" to the fact that women are evil, feminism is why women don't like them, and that women want to cheat on men, making them "cucks."
A spokesperson for the band said that any reference to MRA is purely coincidental. So, no, Levine and his crew aren't secretly trolling Reddit and hating on a huge part of their fan base.
"The title references a term popularised in The Matrix. It was never the band’s intention to reference anything else. The band is shocked that this has even come up," the spokesperson said in a statement to Death & Taxes.
The band hasn't officially addressed the gaffe or mentioned changing the album's name. If Maroon 5 really wanted to drive the Matrix theme home, maybe it should have opted for some throwback eyewear instead of a red pill reference.
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