Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Shay Haley have canceled their scheduled Sunday performance in Jakarta, Indonesia after they were allegedly “threatened with jail” and had their passports confiscated by Malaysian officials recently.
Jakarta Globe (via ONTD) reports N.E.R.D. were denied entry into Malaysia twice while trying to get permission to perform at the Sunburst Kuala Lumpur International Music Festival. The group ultimately got permission to perform, “but when they finished their repertoires, all of their passports were confiscated. This is a very bad precedent,” a statement from their reps said. As Jakarta Globe notes, Malaysia has a history of taking offense to explicit lyrics and/or clothing. Beyonce reportedly canceled a planned Malaysian gig two years ago after she refused to abide by the country’s strict dress code.
The Indonesian Embassy tried to convince Williams, Hugo and Haley that it was safe for them to perform in their country, but N.E.R.D. said they were “depressed” about the Malaysia incident and headed back to the U.S.