Wal-Mart’s big, star-studded shareholders meeting bash took place on Friday in Fayetteville, Ark.. In between powerpoint presentations and speeches, the event featured musical performances from Harry Connick Jr., Robin Thicke, Sarah McLachlan, Aloe Blacc, and, yes, the ‘Happy’ guy in the funny hat, Pharrell Williams.
First, audience members were treated to a video of Wal-Mart store employees performing the Pharrell Williams song "Happy." Then, following a ceremonial flag dance intended to represent the company's global reach, Williams himself took the stage and did a reprise of the ubiquitous radio hit. "Put your hands together for Wal-Mart, guys," he said on his way off the stage, "for making the world a happier place."
Really, Pharrell? I think a lot of people would disagree with you there. While Wal-Mart employees in 20 cities are going on strike alleging low wages and poor treatment, the company has been charged with labor violations, and executive bonuses have cost taxpayers $104 million since 2009. The company’s former CEO made in one year what the average Wal-Mart employee would have to work 785 years to make.
Happier place? Maybe. Also, maybe not. But, you know, clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.