Ellen DeGeneres and singer Pharrell Williams have both given heartfelt responses to gospel singer Kim Burrell’s homophobic rant controversy.
In video footage that emerged online, the gospel singer can be seen repeatedly referring to homosexuality as “perverted” in a sickening anti-gay sermon she delivered at the Texas church where she serves as pastor.
Burrell was originally booked to perform a song from the new movie “Hidden Figures” with collaborator Pharrell Williams on Ellen’s talk show, but after the video surfaced Ellen announced on Twitter she’d been dumped from the show.
In a clip from the episode, Ellen explains: “I didn’t feel like that was good of me to have her on the show to give her a platform after she’s saying things about me.”
And Pharrell Williams, who still appeared, said: “There’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 or moving on. There’s no room.”
He said Burrell is “a fantastic singer and I love her, just like I love everybody else and we all got to get used to that.”
“We all have to get used to everyone’s differences and understand that this is a big, gigantic, beautiful, colorful world,” he said.
“And it only works with inclusion and empathy. It only works that way.
Ellen agreed, saying the hate, prejudice and discrimination she’d experienced for being gay had only made her want to be more compassionate.
Pharrell continued: “Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you feel like it doesn’t necessarily pertain to you … all you got to do is put the word black in that sentence, or put gay in that sentence, or put transgender in that sentence, or put white in that sentence and all of the sudden it starts to make sense to you.
“I get that sometimes the divisive stuff works in life. We learned that lesson last year that sometimes divisiveness works.
“But you have to choose what side you’re on. I’m choosing empathy. I’m choosing inclusion. I’m choosing love for everybody and just trying to lift everyone.
“Even when I disagree with someone, I’m wishing them the best and hoping for the best because we can’t win the other way.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 5, 2017
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) December 31, 2016