Singer Pharrell Williams performs on stage during a private concert for the exhibition “GIRL” at the Perrotin Gallery in Paris, Monday, May 26, 2014. Williams curated the exhibition encompassing around 40 art pieces, presenting their visions of femininity, muses, female creativity and freedom. The show opens on May 27 and runs through June 27. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PARIS (AP) — Pharrell Williams says everyone should be able to celebrate their joy — including Iranian youths who were arrested for posting an Internet video of them dancing to his song “Happy.”
Some in Iran see the video as promoting the spread of Western culture. Iranian laws ban women from dancing in public or appearing outside with heads uncovered.
Williams says he has “the utmost respect for people’s religious views” and doesn’t know much about Iranian law.
But he added: “The present is a gift, and if you just want to celebrate your happiness, you should be allowed to do that.”
Speaking at an exhibit opening in Paris Monday, he said, “They are just dancing.”
Fans have posted similar “Happy” videos from around the world, showing people dancing down streets.
In this frame grab taken from video posted to YouTube, people dance to Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy” on a rooftop in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo)