Pharrell Williams has caused some all-too-familiar backlash by appearing on the cover of Elle UK wearing a Native American headdress.
The Washington Post reports that a message on Elleuk.com originally read, “We persuaded ELLE Style Award winner Pharrell to trade his Vivienne Westwood Mountie hat for a Native American feather headdress....” That message has since been taken down, likely as a response to negative reactions.
Angry viewers took to Twitter and created the hashtag #NOThappy, a play on the Grammy winner’s hit ‘Happy,’ to express their disappointment.
— e b g (@affectionidea) June 4, 2014
— DJ K (@Nugajee) June 4, 2014
— Quinn MacDonald (@quinnmacdonald) June 4, 2014
Pharrell, who disclosed his Native American and Egyptian heritage to Oprah in an interview earlier this year, issued an apology Wednesday morning.
"I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture,” he said. “I am genuinely sorry."
Pharrell isn’t the only celebrity guilty of cultural appropriation.
Kendall Jenner was among the various celebrities called out for wearing a bindi, a Hindu ornament with religious meaning, at Coachella, an annual music festival. Miley Cyrus, the pop star who brought the act of ‘twerking’ to the mainstream, has often been targeted for appropriating African American culture. Even Gwen Stefani, the super-cool ska crooner has been accused of cultural appropriation for things like her Harajuku Girls and her clothing line, Harajuku Lovers, which critics say exploit Japanese culture.