Pro-Palestine Protesters In South Africa Threaten Pharrell With “The Biggest Backlash Since Apartheid”

Pharrell has a series of concerts scheduled in South Africa next month, but after announcing his collaboration with Woolworths on their “Are You With Us” campaign, the performer’s been threatened with the “biggest backlash since Apartheid” by the South African branch of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) movement. Woolworths has economic ties to Israel, which makes Pharrell’s partnership with the company especially grating to the South African BDS activists. Pro-Palestine marches in South Africa attract big numbers and are especially common in Cape Town, a city with a large Muslim population. The threat of backlash harkens back to apartheid-era South Africa, when activists would boycott artists and companies who demonstrated support for the pro-apartheid government at the time. Braam Hanekom, a board member of the South African chapter of BDS, asserted that protests would potentially block roads on concert nights or rally inside of the venues. Pharrell is slated to perform at Grand West Casino in Cape Town, and officials stated that no one would be allowed to protest on their private property. Pharrell’s team has yet to respond, but Woolworths made a statement saying that the company doesn’t source produce from occupied territories in Palestine, and less than 0.1 percent of its food comes from Israel. Read more here.

Tags: Pharrell