Pharrell Williams sends Trump cease and desist letter for playing 'Happy' at a rally after Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
'There was nothing 'happy' about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday,' read the cease and desist letter sent by Pharrell's lawyers to President Donald Trump.
Pharrell Williams is definitely not happy about Donald Trump playing his song 'Happy' during a political rally that took place on the same day where 11 people were killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. Pharrell's attorney sent President Donald Trump a cease and desist letter on Monday, condemning Trump's decision to play the Grammy-winning song, The Hollywood Reporter reports. “On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played [Williams’] song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a political event in Indiana,” wrote Williams’ attorney, Howard King. “There was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose.”
On Saturday (Oct 27), a gunman shot up a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people in what is likely the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history. The suspect, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, had a history of posting racist and anti-Jewish statements online and reportedly yelled during the attack, “All Jews must die.” After the attack, Trump called out the “evil Anti-Semitic attack” as an “assault on humanity.” But later that same day, he went ahead with plans to attend two events, a Future Farmers of America Convention in Indiana ― where he joked about having a “bad hair day” ― and a rally in Murphysboro, Illinois.
The letter from Pharrell’s lawyers said the artist “has not and will not” allow Trump to “publicly” play “any of his music” and doing so constitutes both copyright and trademark infringement, according to King. Pharrell is by no means the first artist to send a cease and desist to Trump over the unauthorized use of their music. In the last few months, Prince’s estate, Steven Tyler, The White Stripes and The Rolling Stones have all taken similar actions. Even way back in 2016, Queen denounced the Republican National Convention’s use of their song 'We Are the Champions' to introduce then-nominee Trump.