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Pharrell Williams’ Native American Feather Headdress on Elle UK Cover Condemned by Netizens

Jun 04, 2014 04:23 AM EDT
Pharrell Williams
(Photo : Facebook / ELLE) Pharrell Williams' cover photo for Elle UK's July issue has received negative comments from several Facebook users, as it shows the "Happy" singer wearing a native American feathered war bonnet, which is considered sacred by many.

Pharrell Williams has taken off his signature Buffalo hat for a while and sported a Native American feathered war bonnet for the cover of Elle UK's July issue.

However, though the lifestyle magazine believes the seven-time Grammy-winning recording artist looked good with the headdress, several netizens were not "happy" with the cover photo.

The cover image was unveiled on the UK magazine's Facebook page Tuesday, June 3, and in just a few hours a lot of Facebook users had given their two cents about the photo, calling it disrespectful and a mockery of Native American culture, Indian Country Today Media Network reported.

"I really love the Happy song. I am so NOT happy upon seeing this cultural appropriation, though," Melissa 'Spider' Smith commented. "Blatant disrespect to Native people and cultural traditions is really disgusting. As a major magazine, you should already know better."

Monika Trujillo, on the other hand, wrote:  "Our Culture is not an accessory! How dare the War Bonnet be worn in the same fashion as the Arby's 10 gallon monstrosity. Money, fame and wealth cannot make one exempt from or pardoned of a racist act. Color on color crime is on display here. Sorry but that's how I feel."

"If this is about culture appreciation...why not hire real native American models? Or an actual chief who has earned the right to wear that headdress?" Sandy Gaitan said. "They can still put Pharrell on the cover somewhere Lol... just not causing controversy by wearing the headdress."

Some offended Facebook users went directly to Williams' official Facebook page to express their disapproval of the cover.

"You have no right to wear a headdress that is so sacred to native people." Gail Lichtsinn posted on the Facebook page of the new "The Voice" coach. "Those headdresses are earned and not worn to make a buck or draw attention. They have meaning and are worn by our men with pride and dignity. "

"This is a mockery of a proud people," Lichtsinn added. "We are not a joke and take these things very seriously. Go back to wearing your OWN clothes."

Meanwhile, in the mag issue to be released Thursday, June 5, Pharrell has revealed to Elle UK that he had not always been well-mannered.

"I took a lot of years to understand the value of things and the value of the people you work with," he said."The value of your fans who ultimately hold you high and lift you up. We're just hang gliders, dude, and they are carrying us around."

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