Pharrell speaks out after arrests in Iran over 'Happy' video

Six young people in Iran were arrested for dancing to singer Pharrell Williams' hit song "Happy" and posting it online.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Singer Pharrell Williams is reacting to the arrest of six young people in Iran for dancing to his hit song "Happy" and posting it online.

The video was originally posted on YouTube last month and received more than 30,000 hits in four days before it was taken down. It was reposted online on Wednesday.



The song has sparked similar videos all over the world. But in Iran, some see the trend as promoting the spread of Western culture. And women are banned from dancing in public or appearing outside without the hijab in the Islamic Republic.

Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia confirmed on state television late Tuesday that the three men and three women were detained over the video. State television also aired blurred pictures of the video and then showed the six with their backs turned to camera.

Iran news media reports that the dancers were forced to repent on state television after Sajedinia called the clip "obscene."

In response to the arrests, the Grammy Award winner tweeted, "It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness."

A human rights group reported Wednesday that the six young people were released on bail. Reports indicate that the director remains in jail.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)
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entertainment u.s. & world youtube music celebrity twitter crime
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