A group of Pharrell Williams fans in Iran were arrested after their tribute to “Happy” aired on a state-run TV channel on Tuesday.
The video includes three men and three unveiled women who now claim they were tricked into making the video.
“They told me they are making a feature film and they had a permit for it,” one man said. “They said those things and they fooled me.”
Police chief Hossein Sajedinia criticized the video for its supposed vulgarity and complained that it “hurt public chastity”.
In response to the arrests, Williams acknowledged the actors on his Facebook page.
“It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness,” Williams wrote.
In support of the actors, Twitter users took to using the hash tag #freehappyiranians to pressure Iranian police into freeing the men and women.
According to unconfirmed reports, a total of 13 people were arrested in connection with the video.