Pharrell Williams Apologizes For Wearing Native American Headdress On Elle Cover: 'I Am Genuinely Sorry'

 @TreyeGreen t.green@ibtimes.com on June 04 2014 1:40 PM
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Several of Pharrell Williams' fans took his Twitter and Facebook page to express their disappointment in his Elle UK cover photo. In the image, for the magazine's July issue, he wears an feather headdress. Elle Magazine

Pharrell Williams has offered an apology for his controversial Elle UK cover. 

Williams covers the magazine's July issue, wearing a Native American warbonnet. The cover was first released on Elle's Facebook page on Tuesday, immediately prompting comments from users upset with the use of the headdress as an accessory. Warbonnets are considered a sacred Native American headpiece, typically reserved for warriors and chiefs. So Pharrell donning one as a fashion statement outraged several people and led to the creation of a #NotHappy hashtag on Twitter

In a statement on the image, Willimas apologized for the photo, saying he did not mean to disrespect anyone. 

Many Native Americans and others were upset about the appropriation of the garment, which is considered to be the sacred garb of chiefs and warriors. They created the “#NotHappy” hashtag on Twitter.

Heidi Klum faced a similar controversy in April after she posted images from a Native American photo shoot from her television show “Germany’s Next Top Model" on her Facebook page. For the shoot, the reality show’s contestants wore headdresses, face paint, antlers and feathers. Much like the Elle UK incident, users took to Klum’s Facebook to express their feelings, which were largely negative. Despite the controversy, though, the images are still on Klum’s page.

Elle UK has yet to comment on the controversy surrounding the cover photo.

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