Pharrell Williams has reacted to reports saying that a group of young Iranians were arrested after they recreated the music video of "Happy". On Tuesday night, May 20, the Grammy Award-winning singer/producer said on Twitter, "It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness."
The arrested Iranians consisted of three young men and three young women. All of them are featured dancing to the summery song in a viral YouTube video that was shot in the rooftops of Tehran.
"After a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity was released in cyberspace, police decided to identify those involved in making that clip," Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency. "Following a series of intelligence and police operations and after coordinating with the judiciary, all the suspects were identified and arrested."
Iran is an Islamic country that doesn't allow public dancing and singing. The law in the country also says that women must cover themselves from head to toe. The three women in the video are unveiled.
Following the arrest, the six Iranians were forced to appear on television to confess to their criminal acts and apologize. The dancers then claimed that they were tricked into making the video as they were told that the clip wasn't meant to be shared publicly.
One of the video's creators, named Neda, revealed the real purposes of making the video in an interview with IranWire last month. "We want to tell the world that Iran is a better place than what they think it is," she said. "Despite all the pressures and limitations, young people are joyful and want to make the situation better. They know how to have fun, like the rest of the world."