Pharrell Williams Covers Elle UK in Native American Headdress, Incites Backlash, Controversy

Celebrity News Jun. 4, 2014 AT 2:20PM
Pharrell Williams poses for the July 2014 issue of Elle UK Pharrell Williams' Elle UK cover has caused controversy with the use of a Native American headdress.

Many people are not "Happy" with Pharrell Williams this week. The singer and producer, 41, appears on a special collector's edition cover for Elle UK's July issue in a photo that has caused new controversy. 

In the profile shot, Williams—more typically seen in sky-high hats—wears a traditional Native American headdress with feathers and embroidery and a knit James Long sweater. The choice of headpiece raised eyebrows and incited a backlash from those who found the photo offensive. 

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The "Come Get It Bae" singer was then forced to comment on the issue, releasing a statement through his publicist reading, "I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry," according to the Washington Post.

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While the British magazine has yet to comment on the controversy, an original presser accompanying the cover read, "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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Inside the issue, Williams' quotes are far more tame. The Grammy winner discusses his values, his love for hats, and his wife Helen Lasichanh, saying of her, "We just motivated each other as friends. She pushes me. I push her."

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