Pharrell Williams has sent US President Donald Trump a cease and desist letter for playing his 2013 track ‘Happy’ during a rally on the day of a mass shooting in Pennsylvania.
On Saturday, the US was shocked to hear of a mass shooting in the state of Pennsylvania, where eleven people were shot and killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
On the same day, US President Donald Trump descended upon the state of Indiana, where he spoke to a large crowd of supporters. However, musician Pharrell Williams has taken issue with Trump’s choice of music at the event.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Williams’ lawyer has sent Donald Trump a cease and desist letter in regards to the decision to play the 2013 single ‘Happy’ during the event.
“On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played his song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a political event in Indiana,” wrote attorney Howard King in a letter obtained by Pitchfork.
“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.”
Howard King also notes that Pharrell Williams has never and will never give Donald Trump permission to broadcast his music in public at any point. The letter claims that using a song like ‘Happy’ in such a manner without his consent is tantamount to copyright and trademark infringement.
Of course, it’s easy to see why Pharrell Williams is upset, considering the highly inappropriate nature of the song given the events of the day. However, he’s definitely not the first artist to deny Donald Trump permission to use their music, with artists such as Aeromsith and R.E.M. speaking out against the controversial politician.
Just a few weeks ago, the estate of Prince was the latest to hit back at Trump’s musical choices. “The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or the White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately,” wrote longtime associate Jeremiah Freed.