Pharrell Williams May Sue Trump for Playing “Happy” at Rally after Pittsburgh Shooting
Once again, Donald Trump doesn’t cease to amaze us with his utter lack of sensitivity and integrity. The ‘Despicable Me 2’ song, notoriously known for its upbeat and happy lyrics was played at Trump’s rally the same weekend as 11 people were killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. It stood as a morbidly sharp contrast to the tragedy that befell the people of Pittsburgh. The horrified owner and writer of the song, Pharrell Williams has threatened to sue Trump for illegally using his song.
Williams Not ‘Happy’
The Los Angeles Times reported that Williams’ attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to the president after the Saturday incident. Williams’ attorney Howard E. King wrote in the letter:
“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,”
He further added that there was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday. He also stated that they did not grant permission for the use of the song, especially in this manner.
The shooting took place earlier Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue, where three separate congregations were holding services. The police charged the suspect, Robert Bowers 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.”
Williams Forbids Illegal Use of His Song
But it appears Williams won’t allow Trump to use any of his music under any circumstances. We can’t really blame him, given Trump’s incomplete sense of conscience and lack of empathy. King claims the use of “Happy” without consent constitutes both copyright and trademark infringement. In his words:
“Pharrell has not, and will not, grant you permission to publicly perform or otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music.”