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Is Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ Video A Rip-Off Of A Girl Talk Video?

While many have seen the clip of Pharrell getting teary when confronted with a montage of Happy tribute videos from around the world, few likely know that the “groundbreaking” 24-hour video for his smash hit single could just be an homage itself to a similar project from producer Girl Talk.

As Consequence of Sound reports (via SPIN) in 2011, actress and dancer Anne Marsen starred in a 71-minute Kickstarter-funded music video project titled Girl Walk // All Day, which depicted her and others dancing freely around New York City to the entirety of Girl Talk’s 2010 studio album, All Day.

When Marsen’s friends made her aware of Pharrell’s Happy clip, she couldn’t help but notice the many similarities between the two projects, which both involved extended and spontaneous-looking dance performances in public spaces, so she got to work on making a side-by-side comparison.

“[Director] Jacob [Krupnick] and I were saying, we agree, it’s a great thing that dance is getting recognition as a long-form kind of thing, because we want to be making more projects… in this form,” she told SPIN. “Yet at the same time we feel like we’re not getting the recognition for this.”

Girl Talk himself, real name Greg Gillis, noted that “there’s definitely some similarities” between the two projects, but stopped short of alleging any kind of plagiarism, saying, “It could be a coincidence or maybe somebody in Pharrell’s camp was influenced by the video. Do I think the Pharrell video used those elements in a transformative nature and created something new out of it? Yes.”

With Marsen’s comparison clip making the rounds online, a representative for Pharrell has stated that neither Pharrell nor directing team We Are From L.A. had seen the Girl Walk // All Day video, and insisted his client’s clip was simply based on the film Despicable Me 2, which features the song.

Watch: Girl Walk // All DayHappy Side-By-Side

Watch: Pharrell Williams – Happy

Watch: Girl Walk // All Day – Chapter 4: Enter The Gentleman

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