Pharrell Williams, composer and performer of the hit song “Happy,” is currently trending on Twitter for sending a cease-and-desist letter to President Trump to stop him from using his music.
On Saturday morning, Robert Bowers opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people and injuring six others. On Saturday night, Trump hosted a Midwest campaign rally where Pharrell’s “Happy” was on the playlist.
A letter penned by Williams’ attorney, Howard E. King, to Trump stated, in part:
“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 …”
He continued, “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 letter was shared on Twitter:
“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.”
Williams is a 10-time Grammy-Award winner. “Happy,” on the “Despicable Me 2” soundtrack, earned him a 2014 Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.
At the rally, Trump made a quick mention of the shooting: “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, in an interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News on Monday, he said tragedies should not prevent events from going on as they normally would.
“Frankly, I think that’s the way it should be,” he said. “You can’t let these people disrupt anymore than they already have. They are disgraceful.”
And, in the midst of tragedy, he defended playing Williams’ song, “Happy.”
“Rallies are meant to be fun,” he said.