Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ Leads to Iranian Youths’ Prison Sentence
Who knew spreading happiness would land a person in jail for six months?
As crazy as it sounds, a group of young adults were sentenced to six months in prison for making a video of themselves dancing to Pharrell's chart-topping hit 'Happy.' Not only that, they were also sentenced to 91 lashings, according to the Iran Wire. The director was given a full year for making the video.
The group was arrested in May, a month after the video hit YouTube -- they were released shortly after. News of their arrest is being spread this week because their trial took place in a Tehran courthouse, where they were handed down their sentence.
The footage, shot in Tehran, showcased the women dancing without their heads covered, which is against Iranian law since males and females were in the video together.
But luckily for the young dancers, they may not have to serve the prison time nor get the 91 lashings if they stay out of trouble for three years, as their sentence would be suspended.
"A suspended sentence becomes null and void after a certain period of time," said their lawyer Farshid Rofugaran. "When it's a suspended sentence, the verdict is not carried out, but if during this period a similar offense is committed, then the accused is subject to legal punishment and the suspended sentence will then be carried out as well."
Pharrell shared his disappointment over the news that his fans were punished for "trying to spread happiness."