Earlier this week, Pharrell came under fire for the cover art of his new album G I R L, which features three women in white bathrobes standing next to the celebrated rapper/producer. Media outlets and individuals online voiced their displeasure with the notion that Pharrell, an African American artist, decided not to include a woman of color on his cover. Or at least that was story line they wanted to believe, which motivated their peanut gallery outrage.
Pharrell has responded to his critics, clarifying the woman standing closest to him on the cover is black. "They’re ill informed," he tells TheYBF. "The woman I’m standing closest to, she is black and she’s been a friend of mine for a long time. You know, I’m confused by it."
Pharrell goes on to explain his disappoint in people who are not able to understand the concept of his new album, which celebrates all women, regardless of the color of their skin. Read his full statement on the issue below.
"Well, they’re ill informed. The woman I’m standing closest to, she is black and she’s been a friend of mine for a long time. You know, I’m confused by it.
"Then they’re going to ask me do I not have an Indian woman on there or a Pakistani woman on there?" he continues. "But meanwhile, I do. She is African American and I feel sorry for her that people will look her dead in her face like she ain’t black but she is black. It’s a girl I use[d] to date years ago.
"It’s just unfortunate because it’s 2014 and we have a President [who’s black]. Is this what it is? Is it because she’s not brown? I don’t feel funny about our President because he is what he is. Meanwhile, has anybody forgotten that I’m black myself? I wake up everyday and I wave the black flag. Everything that I’m doing. You know, this “Happy” song going #1. What is the guy that’s singing the song? What do you mean?
"I’m standing by a black woman. My business is run by a black woman. My mom partially looks after my business and she’s a black woman. I’m married to a black woman. I’m confused. I guess once you get the album you will look inside and see she’s a black woman. I’m sorry that from that vantage point you can’t look at her hair and tell that she’s black.
"My intentions are…this album is an ode to woman. It’s not necessarily an ode to a shade, it’s an ode to women. And to people who are confused by that, you have got to know me better than that. Look at the “'Frontin' video.
"And here I am trying to put ordinary, beautiful girls on the cover…not no models. I didn’t go to 29 agencies looking for runway models. I wanted ordinary people because I don’t think celebrities or models are the stars anymore. I think pedestrians are the stars. And I think beautiful pedestrians will run the world and that’s what I consider myself, like a pedestrian.
"I understand it. Hopefully when they see, they’ll see."
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