Have you heard the song Happy by Pharrell Williams? You probably have, a few thousand times. Sure, it was fun, cheery and catchy the first nine thousand and ninety nine times, but by the ten-thousandth listen, it really starts to grate on your ears. However, a recent survey* shows that no matter how many time you hear it, you still want to get up and dance.
Pharrell’s song made a group of Iranian men and women so darn happy that they decided to create a film-clip titled Happy we are from Tehran. As a result of throwing their hands in the air like they just don’t care, all six young Iranians were arrested on charges of obscene behavior. After an anxious wait, five members were handed down suspended sentences of 6 months imprisonment and 91 lashes, while the director received one year and 91 lashes. Yup, that’s PRISON TIME and NINETY-ONE LASHES! For dancing. In a video. And uploading it to the World Wide Web. Wait, wut?!?!
The video was made back in May (before the song got really annoying) and shows 3 women and 3 men dancing, waving their limbs around and generally having a good time. Unfortunately, strict Iranian laws prohibit women from appearing in public without a headscarf and dancing with members of the opposite sex. The court found them guilty but decided to suspend the sentences in full for three years. Their sentence will only be carried out if they commit a similar offence within that time period.
Pharrell’s happiness levels have taken a dip after hearing this news. He took to his Facebook page to state, “It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.”
Take a look at the video below and see if you think the crime fits the punishment. Hint: it doesn’t.
*There was only one participant in the survey and it was me.
Watch the video here.