US pop star Pharrell Williams is collaborating with Woolworths on its “Are You With Us” campaign, acting as style director on several “sustainability-focused projects” and fundraising for education.
Williams will be in South Africa next month but faces disruptions from pro-Palestine protesters over a promotional deal he has with major retailer Woolworths, which has trade ties with Israel.
“He is about to face the biggest backlash any artist has faced in South Africa in over 30 years, since the days of apartheid,” said Braam Hanekom, a BDS South Africa board member.
“He is walking into a very angry, unhappy environment because he has chosen to walk with Woolworths,” Hanekom said.
Hanekom, the son of an ANC minister, told Reuters after the City of Cape Town denied an application by thousands to protest at Pharrell’s first concert on 21 September.
Pollution pimp Williams wants to fight climate change, but raps about “private jet wheels”. “Never in a million years I’ll imagine I’ll get my thrills/By listening to squeals of the PJ wheels,” from the song “You Can Do It To”.
And boy, does Pharrell like his private jets.
Sometimes, Pharrell likes to fly around the country on private planes by himself.