Pharrell Follows Up #NotHappy Trend With Standard ‘Sorry, Not Sorry’ PR Statement

Pharrell ELLE UK Cover July 2014

Doug Inglish

That was fast. I guess the #NotHappy hashtag really got to Pharrell because he has already apologized for the headdress debacle. Pictures of Pharrell wearing a feathered Native American headdress on the cover of Elle UK’s July 2014 issue upset people waaaay more than Rihanna exposing her Swarovski crystal-covered nipples at the CFDAs. People might have been pissed because of the obvious cultural appropriation issue or the fact he decided to pair the headdress with your grandmother’s necklace, but I’m pretty sure that it’s the former.

Pharrell has learned a hard lesson quick. You pick the wrong hat and people will not like it, especially if the hat in question involves offending or in insensitive to other cultures. He never should have given the massive Grammy hat a rest and attempted to switch things up.

Pharrell issued this succinct apology:

“I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry.”

I don’t know about you, but I would have expected someone who writes and produces song for a living would have had a bit more to say. He was the one who was came up with the line “I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space/With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way.”

Elle UK has yet to respond directly to the controversy, but instead chose to promote their Keira Knightley cover and pretend Pharrell’s doesn’t exist:

Keira Knightley Elle UK July 2014

It’s such a shame because they wasted that clever #PharrELLE hashtag that you know some witty person spent forever trying to think of.

Pharrell learned an important lesson today. Don’t wear anything that’s culturally insensitive–no matter how “fashionable” you think is. Now go back and put on your Grammy Mountie hat and maybe we’ll be happy once again. (I had to do it).

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    • Samantha Escobar

      When will celebrities learn that this will always cause a backlash? It’s one thing if they’re okay with it–which it sounds like they are–but offering a false apology thereafter seems so silly when it seems impossible that they didn’t know better already.

      • Eileen

        Seriously, just own it. I understand why some people find it offensive and I also understand why some people think it’s perfectly okay, but if you’re the latter don’t pretend it’s not because you’ve never heard of the former.

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    • Alana Vincenza

      Someone needs to sit all celebrities down and explain what cultural appropriation is and why people are angered by it because god damn, this happens all the time and they still haven’t figured out why it’s wrong.