Young Iranians Arrested For Pharrell Williams "Happy" Cover

posted Wednesday May 21 ,2014 at 08:00PM CDT | 31 comments

Young Iranians Arrested For Pharrell Williams

Seven young Iranians were arrested and forced to atone on Iranian state television for filming a "Happy in Tehran" video.

According to a recent The Lede article, several Iranian youth were arrested yesterday (May 20) for following the global trend of publishing a homemade cover of Pharrell Williams’Happy” to YouTube. Beyond the arrest, the seven young people in question were also reportedly “forced to repent on state television.”

The “Happy in Tehran” cover was apparently uploaded as long as a month ago but the Iranian police seem to have become aware of it following its publicity on websites like The Huffington Post and LeMonde. The original video has since been made private but was reportedly viewed more than 165,000 times.

According to The Lede, the “Happy” enthusiasts claimed they weren’t involved in the recording’s being published to YouTube. The same article reports that the Police Chief of Tehran, Iran’s capital city, referenced the cover as “a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity” and warned against similar efforts.

Yesterday, Pharrell himself Tweeted about the arrest.

In an interview last month with IranWire, one of the video’s dancers described the motivation to cover the song in the first place. “We wanted to tell the world that the Iranian capital is full of lively young people and change the harsh and rough image that the world sees on the news,” she said.

The same dancer also explained maintaining state-enforced dress requirements while shooting scenes in public. “To conform to the Islamic dress code, we covered our hair with wigs,” she said.

The Lede reports that the news comes less than a week after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave a speech urging his country to modernize its stance on Internet use. In a seemingly underhanded response to widespread criticism for their arrest, Rouhani’s Twitter account posted a message earlier today quoting a 2013 speech.

While the original video is now private, the “Happy in Tehran” clip has since been republished by another user and is available to stream below.

RELATED: CeeLo Green Doesn't Regret Passing On "Happy," Praises Pharrell's Generosity

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Comments 31 Posts

  • Anonymous
    Start working at home with Google! Its by-far the best job Ive had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail
  • Anonymous
    Honestly it probably has nothing to do with the content of the song, but more the adoption and embrace of American culture.
  • Anonymous
    happiness isnt so nice when there's a political agenda behind it mister pharrell
    • Anonymous
      Happiness is always nice
  • Anonymous
    Yung Iranian - Camel Thuggin (ft. French Montana)
  • Gary
    No please young ones, go ahead and keep thinking America is the worst place to live. No really, go ahead and find out how bad it really is outside of America. We'll be here when you come crying back. Thanks, Peace goes out.
  • Anonymous
    muslims are some real joyless pieces of shit for doing this to kids.
  • bomb them all
    Serves these camelfuckers right.
    • 1
      You must be a miserable person living a miserable life and you will likely die a miserable way too (i hope) Karma will find you one day
    • wads
      ^^ who is projecting who's sickness on who?
  • Anonymous
    please send Young Thug, Macklemore, Ice T, Mr. Cee and all them other faglovers to Iran
    • Anonymous
      how the fuck are ice-t and mr. cee fag lovers?
    • Anonymous
      u must have been livin under a rock
    • Anonymous
      Please send all of the backwards homophobes to Iran also, they'd fit right in
  • Anonymous
    Iranian sand nigguz got taste!
  • Anonymous
    Yung Iranian got signed to MMG
    • Anonymous
      "Yung Iranian got signed to MMG"................................*coughs*
  • Russo
    Lmao, don't be fag and that's the law. Lovin it.
    • bnV
      Did you ever go to school?
    • Russo
      "Don't be a fag, and that's the law". English is not my native language, sorry.
  • Anonymous
    well what can you say about a state that allied the nazis. iran means aryan. want to exterminate the jews in israel with a nuke. persecute any kinds of expression by their people. really no one should be surprised
    • Anonymous
      ^ your average american redneck right here
  • Rozay was paid to snitch on inmates and check niggas assholes for drugs remember this when you call him a 'Boss'
    Officer Ricky should be arrested for stealing the real Freeway Rick Ross image, name and entire life story
  • VcV
    Iran should ban rap music in general. Its shit these days
    • Anonymous
      "Iran should ban rap music in general" pretty sure they're already doing that kid
  • ananana
    you're a fucking idiot buddy, why dont you go move there then? It disgusts me to see people saying "let them do what they want in their own country" fuck you.
    • Anonymous
      You missed the point entirely mouth breather, which is sad because I thought I made it so obvious a 10 year old would of caught it.
  • Anonymous
    Oh well, the vast majority of hip hop sat around boo hoo'n when we went to war with countries like this, so whatever, let them do what they want, it's their country. I would love to see someone like Immortal Technique move to a place like Iran, and see how well his "Rage against the system" attitude would play with them.
    • Anonymous
      they're already watching him here, no need to move work a little more on your misguided patriotism
    • Anonymous
      immortal technique would have his head chopped off and delivered to his family in a box within a week
    • wads
      you say that like you wanna chop his head off so badly