Pharrell Williams has finally taken off that Buffalo hat, but its replacement – a Native American feathered war bonnet for the cover of Elle UK’s July issue – has left some Native Americans less than “happy.”
The image was unveiled on the UK magazine’s Facebook page Tuesday, June 3, and within a few hours a lot of Facebook users had called 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 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.