Iran Arrests 6 for 'Vulgar' Video of Pharrell's 'Happy'
Clip 'hurt public chastity,' Tehran's top cop says
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2014 5:33 AM CDT
Updated May 21, 2014 7:30 AM CDT
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(Newser) – A joyful homemade video of Pharrell Williams' "Happy" resulted in arrest and public humiliation for six young Iranians. Tehran's chief of police says the six people seen singing and dancing on the city's rooftops—including three unveiled young women—created a "vulgar clip which hurt public chastity," the Telegraph reports. The six were forced to publicly apologize on state television, reports the New York Times, which notes that the arrests came just days after Iran's president described Internet censorship as "passive and cowardly."

The "Happy in Tehran" clip, which had more than 160,000 views on YouTube, was one of scores of "Happy" covers created around the world to mark the United Nations' International Day of Happiness, reports MTV. The video was created to show that young Iranians "have moments of joy and happiness even though they live with many difficulties," one of the dancers in the video said in an interview last month, explaining that the women had "covered our hair with wigs" to conform to Islamic dress codes. "It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness," Pharrell said on his Facebook page.

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Showing 3 of 68 comments
Elmer Blanchard
Sep 19, 2014 2:42 PM CDT
Young. seemingly well adjusted people acting normally. SHAME SHAME SHAME! Happiness is a warm burqua and genital mutilation! What if this evil spreads???
GeminiMishy
May 22, 2014 9:24 AM CDT
It would be nice if this was it. The straw that broke the camel's back. The moment that the youth see their country and their government for what it is and revolt. If something so simple and innocuous can cause such strife with those who lead, there is truly nothing else to be done.
TwoSheds
May 21, 2014 11:44 PM CDT
I am unsure how to feel about this. My government wants to kill these people because their country has fossil fuel resources, and their government wants to humiliate them for poor dancing.