Iranian Police Arrest Online Music Video Dancers for Getting “Happy”

Pharrell videos are protected by the right to the pursuit of "Happy"-ness.

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Iran is apparently a whole lot like that town in Footloose (which Wikipedia tells me is called Bomont), because they’ve arrested 6 people for dancing in a music video. While we in the U.S. have the luxury of suffering infinite numbers of Pharrell music videos, Iran doesn’t take so kindly to people getting “Happy.”

What’s even worse is that, according to The Daily Dot, the video’s producers created it and shared it online to show that Iran isn’t such a bad place. Whoops.

The video features men and women dancing together, which probably would have been enough for the police to Reverend Shaw Moore them. On top of that, the women in the video aren’t wearing the hijab that are required by law in Iran, so the police intervened when the video got popular on the Internet.

You can see all the debauchery for yourself, because the Internet is forever:

According to Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia, what you just witnessed is, “A vulgar clip which hurt public chastity [and] was released in cyberspace.” What’s not harmful to the public? Tracking down the dancers, making phony calls that their friends had gotten in car accidents, and arresting them when they rush to help, which is how the police handled it.

Then, they were shown from the back on Iranian TV confessing and saying that they were tricked into making the video and didn’t want it shared on the Internet. Excuse me if I don’t exactly think they were choosing their own words.

Pharrell Williams himself isn’t happy about it, either. It’s too bad that the video’s message about a happier Iran was pretty much ruined, but at least they showed everyone that there are people there who just want to be happy. Now that they’ve said they appeared in the video by accident, the police have thankfully cut them loose.

(via Daily Dot, image via Footloose)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.