×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pharrell Williams Calls on Women to Vote for Clinton, ‘Save This Nation’

Pharrell Williams made an impassioned plea Tuesday for women to rally behind Hillary Clinton and take the reins in American society.

Appearing at Variety‘s Inclusion summit at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, the R&B artist and producer slammed Donald Trump — though without ever mentioning the Republican presidential candidate by name — and countered criticism of Clinton’s trustworthiness.

“If all the women in this nation decided to vote and support the first female candidate, there’d be nothing to worry about,” Williams said in a conversation with Indiewire executive editor and Variety editor-at-large Michael Schneider. “It’s that easy.”

Of Clinton, he added, “Has she been dishonest about things? Sure. Have you?” Accusing Clinton’s opponents and Trump of “gender bias,” he said, “She don’t lie no more than any other politician does.”

At the end of a conversation that focused on Williams’ wide-ranging career in film, television, and music — including as a producer of the upcoming feature “Hidden Figures,” Schneider asked Williams how the social and political polarization of the day has impacted him and his work. Williams responded with a long period of quiet.

“That silence in this room right now is often what I feel when you see some of the things that are being said, not just about my culture, but about women,” Williams said. He spoke of the need for women to wrest control of society from men. “I’m praying that women come together and save this nation,” he said. “You think about the destructive things that have come from mankind, it’s mostly men.”

But he also was self deprecating as he contrasted the lyrics from some of his more salacious songs — which he said were written “in the spirit of dancing” — with the misogynist language employed by Trump and many of his supporters.

“I’ve had 60- and 70-year-old women come up to me and say, ‘You know, I like that ‘Drop it Like it’s Hot’,'” he said. “And I’ve had women come up to me, 80-year-old women, and say, ‘That ‘Blurred Lines’ … ” Williams then raised his hand as if imitating someone about to slap another person, and added, “But they knew where I was coming from. And there’s some other people out there, we knew where they’re coming from too.”

In the closest he came to calling out Trump explicitly, Williams said, “Are we going to let this other situation take over and remind us what ‘great’ used to be?”

He then rejected the idea that Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan constitutes coded language.

“It’s not a code, it’s blatant,” he said. “It made me not want to wear red white and blue for a while, that rally. Those things that were being said. Those t-shirts. I call them the bumper stickers. Cause that’s how they talk. Just like bumper stickers.”

Williams began the conversation talking with Schneider about “Hidden Figures.” Directed by Theodore Melfi and starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe, the film is based on the true story of African-American female mathematicians who contributed to the success of NASA’a Mercury and Apollo programs.

“The female contribution to society was not acknowledged like it should be,” Williams said of the movie’s mid-century setting. “Women’s contributions were often dismissed, discounted. The idea that we get a chance to actually go back and shine a light on the amazing accomplishments of these women — and African-American women, you know. It’s one thing to be a woman in the 1960s. It’s another thing to be an African-American woman in the 1960s.”


Watch the Pharrell Williams interview below:

More Film

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Threatening to Throw 'Industry Into Chaos'

    The dealmakers appear to be getting nowhere. Negotiators for Hollywood agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved little progress at their seventh session on Tuesday, with a chaotic scenario looming on April 7. “When Guild leadership is ready to move on from their declared threatening phase, we stand ready to work through these [...]

  • Zoe Lister-Jones The Craft

    'The Craft' Remake Finds Director in Zoe-Lister Jones

    “Life in Pieces” star Zoe Lister-Jones will write and direct Sony Pictures’ remake of “The Craft” for Blumhouse and Red Wagon Entertainment. Doug Wick, the producer of the original “The Craft,” will return in the same capacity along with partner Lucy Fisher through their Red Wagon banner. Jason Blum is also producing and his Blumhouse [...]

  • Carol Burnett

    Carol Burnett's Mother-Daughter Story 'Carrie and Me' in Development as a Movie

    Carol Burnett’s bestseller “Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story” is in the works as a movie at Focus Features with Burnett, Tina Fey, Eric Gurian, and Steven Rogers producing. Burnett will produce through her Mabel Cat Productions with Fey and Gurian under their production banner Little Stranger along with Rogers (“I, Tonya”). The sibling [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Plans for Agency Pact Expiration: 'There Will Be Difficult Moments'

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent members contingency plans for the possible expiration of its agency franchise agreement on April 7 — and admitted that it may be a rocky road. Members received the letter Tuesday from the guild’s negotiating committee as the WGA and agents were about the hold their seventh [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Entertainment One, Universal to Partner on Home Entertainment

    Entertainment One and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have signed a multi-year, multi-territory distribution agreement. UPHE will serve as the home entertainment distributor of eOne’s offerings across both physical and digital formats. The pact covers film, television, and select family content and includes all sales, marketing, and distribution, spanning the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Spain, Australia, [...]

  • Will Smith Jada Pinkett Smith

    AFI, Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation Launch Second Young Women in Film Intensive

    The AFI Conservatory and the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation have partnered to launch the second annual Young Women in Film Intensive. The AFI Campus in Los Angeles will host 45 high school girls for an eight-week filmmaking workshop, where students will receive mentorship from current fellows and working professional alumni of the AFI [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content