Dang. Pharrell just went there.
Pharrell Williams, one of the biggest black figures in the music industry, has spoken out about the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, saying he is ‘troubled’ a grand jury decided not to indict the white police officer responsible.
But the ‘Happy’ singer also sparked heated debate by calling Brown’s behavior leading up to his August 9 death ‘bully-ish’.
Before he was shot dead, Brown was caught on surveillance camera stealing a handful of cigarillos from a convenience store in Ferguson, Missouri, and intimidating the shop owner.
While Pharrell says that was no excuse for Officer Darren Wilson to use lethal force against the unarmed teen, he thinks Brown’s actions are being overlooking in the national discussion about the tragedy.
‘It looked very bully-ish; that in itself I had a problem with,’ Pharrell told Ebony magazine. ‘Not with the kid, but with whatever happened in his life for him to arrive at a place where that behavior is OK. Why aren’t we talking about that?’
‘The boy was walking in the middle of the street when the police supposedly told him to “get the f*** on the sidewalk.” If you don’t listen to that, after just having pushed a storeowner, you’re asking for trouble,’ he added.
However, Pharrell said that Brown’s behavior in the convenience store did not warrant his death, and that he believes Officer Wilson should have been charged in the death.
After the story was published on Tuesday, Twitter was flooded with comments calling out Pharrell’s interview.
One Twitter user said: ‘Mike Brown was a bully says Pharrell Williams. So do we get a pass to shoot bullies in society? Way to go Pharrell.’