Pharrell Williams has dropped out of performing at the upcoming amfAR Cannes gala.
Williams was set to hit the stage on 17 May (18) for the The Foundation for AIDS Research’s annual fundraiser at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes, but he will no longer appear due to a “scheduling conflict”.
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Pharrell was not keen to appear at the event because of the controversy surrounding the organisation’s longtime association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct and assault by multiple women.
Sting and Shaggy have reportedly stepped in to replace Pharrell.
Meanwhile, Williams’ departure comes days after actress Sharon Stone pulled out of co-chairing the event, with a representative stating, “Sharon will not be attending Cannes now. She is going to work on a new project.”
And in February (18), the organisation was at the centre of another scandal involving longtime chairman Kenneth Cole, who allegedly made a controversial deal with Weinstein to settle a $600,000 (£442,300) financial obligation to the American Repertory Theater (ART) by hosting a charity auction in Cannes with amfAR in 2015.
Cole hit back at the reports, insisting they were a “distortion of facts”, but he resigned from the organisation in February.
“Today my 14-year term as chairman concludes,” Cole said at the time. “It has been a true privilege to work alongside so many talented, dedicated and committed individuals. Through my ongoing work as the U.N. AIDS ambassador and with the U.N. AIDS Coalition, I remain personally committed to aligning resources and galvanising global action and working with amfAR to make AIDS history.”