Pharrell Williams Apologizes for Wearing a Native American Headdress on Elle UK

People were #nothappy with seeing Pharrell wearing a headdress that is considered sacred in Native American culture. 

Pharrell Williams appearing on the cover of Elle UK
Pharrell Williams appearing on the cover of Elle UK Elle UK

Pharrell Williams managed to ruffle feathers this week after his cover on Elle UK was revealed. Williams, whose most recent notoriety came from his “Happy” song and Arby’s-style Vivienne Westwood hat, donned a Native American headdress.

Can you say “appropriation?”

Native American headdresses are a sacred part of Native culture. They’re only worn by chiefs and warriors, but of course there are those cultural appropriators who find it fashionable and ethnic chic.  Many in the Native American community, and even those people who are not but know better, voiced their concerns about Elle’s cover on Twitter using the hashtag #NOThappy.

Eventually Williams decided an apology was the appropriate form of action. “I am genuinely sorry,” Williams wrote in a statement provided to Buzzfeed. “I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture.”