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Pharrell Williams not “Happy” after Elle UK cover controversy

Pharrell Williams may love headpieces, but the Native American headdress he wore on Elle UK‘s cover has sparked outrage, and he has since issued an apology.

Pharrell Williams sparked controversy this week after he appeared on the special collector’s edition cover for Elle UK’s July issue wearing a Native American headdress.

The “Despicable Me” hit maker left behind his trademark Vivienne Westwood hat for the photo shoot and instead wore a feathered Native American headdress along with a simple James Long wool knit sweater, but the choice of headwear has greatly offended many people who are left wondering why the magazine chose to style Williams that way.

Users on social media have branded the photo as “racist” and disrespectful.” And according to the Daily Mail, many Facebook users decided to educate the British fashion magazine on the symbolism behind using a feathered headdress. One user wrote, “The headdress is sacred, it was worn by those who were revered and chosen to lead the people. It’s not meant to be a fancy headdress for trendsetting.”

Elle UK has yet to address the backlash, but the 41-year-old singer and producer released a statement via his rep to apologize for any offense he may have caused.

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

It’s no secret the Grammy winner loves hats, but this particular choice of headpiece was not an appropriate one.

According to Us Weekly, the magazine’s original presser stated, “Musical genius and style guru, Pharrell Williams, swaps his famous Vivienne Westwood felt Buffalo hat for an elaborate Native American headdress in a photograph by Doug Inglish, shot exclusively for Elle UK’s limited edition July cover. Pharrell wears the colorful headdress with a James Long wool jumper and his own jeans and jewelry.”

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