Pharrell Williams issues cease-and-desist order to Trump for playing ‘Happy’ at rallies
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 10/31/2018, 10:10 a.m.
The “turntables” on the other foot, so to speak, for producer/artist Pharrell Williams. Williams was embroiled in a copyright infringement lawsuit a while back, where the Marvin Gaye estate sued him for such. And now he isn’t too happy with President Donald Trump using Williams’ “Despicable Me 2” song at Trump’s rally on the same day 11 people were killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. The Los Angeles Times reported that Williams’ attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to the president after Trump played “Happy” at his Saturday political rally in Murphysboro, Ill. “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,” Williams’ attorney Howard E. King wrote in the letter. “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.” The shooting took place earlier Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue, where three separate congregations were holding services. The suspect, Robert Bowers, was charged with 29 counts, ranging from murder with a firearm to numerous hate crime charges. Trump acknowledged the shooting in his speech at the rally: “This wicked act of mass murder is pure evil, hard to believe and frankly something that is unimaginable. Our nation and the world are shocked and stunned by the grief.” But it appears Williams won’t allow Trump to use any of his music under any circumstances. “Pharrell has not, and will not, grant you permission to publicly perform or otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music,” King wrote. “The use of ‘Happy’ without permission constitutes copyright infringement.”