Protesters Boycott Pharrell Concert
Pharrell's scheduled performance in Cape Town, South Africa was met by protesters today because the musician's affiliation with South African retailer Woolworths. New York Daily News reports protestors are boycotting Skateboard P's concert and are outraged because of his promotional deal with Woolworths, which they claim is a company that "Supports Israel, a country that supports the oppression of Palestine, a country that is the new apartheid state." Pharrell Williams is collaborating with Woolworths as its style director on a number of fashion projects plus a scholarship program for kids.
About 500 protesters gathered outside GrandWest Casino, the Cape Town venue where the Grammy award-winning producer and performer was scheduled to play. The protest was launched by the South African branch of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) movement. "By working with Woolworths, Pharrell supports Israel, a country that supports the oppression of Palestine, a country that is the new apartheid state," said Ashraf Salie, a spokesman from the protest. Signs at the protest reportedly said "Pharrell is welcome if Gaza is free" and "Pharrell and Woolworths have blood on their hands." A rep from Woolworths has stated that the company does not source produced from the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and they clearly label it on their products.
Musically, Pharrell and his N.E.R.D. cohorts Chad Hugo and Shae Haley dropped an unreleased track titled “Locked Away” last month via P's Apple Music’s ‘OTHERtone’ radio show on Beats Radio 1. Hopefully more music is on the way.