For all the derision and confusion Pharrell has received for his oversized, Smokey the Bear hat, it now has some philanthropic benefit.
Last week, the producer auctioned off his Vivienne Westwood hat worn at the Grammys on eBay to benefit From One Hand to Another, an organization Pharrell founded in 2008 to help children “by giving them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential.” On Sunday, the same night Pharrell was performing in a different oversized hat at the Oscars, Arby’s announced that it had purchased the charity item for $44,100.
After Pharrell thanked “whoever bought my Grammy hat,” the fast-food chain replied, “You’re welcome. We’re HAPPY to support a great cause & get our hat back. Good luck at the #Oscars tonight!”
On Grammy night, many on social media commented that Pharrell’s hat looked suspiciously similar to the hat on Arby’s logo, prompting the fast food company to tweet, “Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back?” His reply? “Hey Arby’s, you want my hat? Now’s your chance.” The auction’s description said, “Bid on the hat that took the 2014 Grammy Awards and social media by storm,” and described it as a “mountain” hat.
At the Academy Awards Sunday night, Pharrell, clad in ruby slipper sneakers, performed Despicable Me 2‘s “Happy” among dancers of all ages and left the stage to dance with front-row actresses Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Lupita Nyong’o. While “Happy” has become a worldwide smash, complete with 24-hour music video, it lost the Oscar for Best Original Song to Frozen’s “Let It Go.”