Hours after a man massacred 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, President Donald Trump opted to go ahead with a scheduled rally in Illinois. He also chose to play “Happy,” Pharrell Williams’ Oscar-nominated song from Despicable Me 2, at said event.
Williams is not happy about that.
His attorney has fired off a cease-and-desist letter to Trump’s camp that demands POTUS not use his client’s music.
“On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played [Williams’] song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a political event,” reads the letter from Howard King (read it here). “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. … Demand is hereby made that you cease and desist from any further unauthorized use of Pharrell Williams’ music.”
No word from Trump or his people about a response.
Williams, of course, hardly is the first to gripe about the president using his songs. A number of acts including Adele, the Rolling Stones — whose “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” has been a staple at Trump events — and members of R.E.M., Queen and Aerosmith also are on the record about his not using their records. Likely the first to object publicly was Neil Young, whose “Rockin’ in the Free World” played at the event when Trump declared his candidacy for president in June 2015.
The veteran rocker and activist said in a statement at the time, “Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.”
Remember, this is the song that includes the lines: “There’s a warning sign/on the road ahead/There’s a lot of people saying we’d be better off dead.”