As if Julianne Hough’s Halloween blackface and Macklemore’s Jewish stereotype witch nose weren’t impetus enough for famous people to stop treating races and nationalities as costume, perhaps Pharrell’s new hat — and its backlash — will finally drive the lesson home.
The performer swapped his signature Vivienne Westwood mountain hat for a feathered piece of headgear on Elle UK’s July cover, causing outrage on the internets and a #NotHappy Twitter tag currently making the rounds in our feed.
While the singer has already apologized through his rep for the offensive snafu — which Karlie Kloss, too, received when she walked the Victoria’s Secret fashion show runway as a scantily-clad Native American in 2012 — the Hearst-owned glossy is feeling some major heat, especially since retroactively changing the wording of a promotional blog post in what appears to be an attempt to reduce their part of the blame.
According to a screenshot captured by The Washington Post, the magazine first posted the following to its website on June 3:
“We persuaded ELLE Style Award winner Pharrell to trade his Vivienne Westwood mountie hat for a native American feather headdress in his best ever shoot.”
But as of Wednesday, the copy reads as follows:
“We persuaded ELLE Style Award Winner Pharrell to collaborate with us on his best ever shoot.”
Oy. What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you think this latest offensive incident will finally spurn high profile people — and those not so much — to use better judgment when getting dressed?
- This story first appeared on THR.com