Ellen DeGeneres and Pharrell Williams discussed gospel singer Kim Burrell’s recent homophobic comments during The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday, January 5.
As previously reported, DeGeneres canceled Burrell’s appearance on the daytime talk show after a video surfaced of the singer talking about “the perverted homosexual spirit” during a sermon at the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church. She later defended her comments in a Facebook video. Williams was supposed to perform with Burrell.
“I actually didn’t know her, her name is Kim Burrell. She made a statement, she was doing a Facebook Live, and she said some very not nice things about homosexuals, so I didn’t feel that was good of me to have her on the show to give her a platform after she was saying things about me,” DeGeneres said on Thursday. She then gave the floor to the “Happy” singer, who collaborated with Burrell on the song “I See a Victory,” from the Hidden Figures soundtrack.
“There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on,” Williams replied. “There’s no room. She’s a fantastic singer, 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 and it only works with inclusion and empathy. It only works that way.”
He added: “Live and let live. Love and let love.”
DeGeneres, who is married to actress Portia de Rossi, agreed. “When I say be kind to one another, I feel that. Because as someone who has received a lot of hate and prejudice and discrimination because of who I choose to love, I just don’t understand anyone who has experienced that kind of oppression or anything like that … it only gives me more compassion,” she said. “It gives me more empathy. I don’t ever want anyone to feel hurt because they are different.”
Williams said that he wants to “lift everyone” — even those he disagrees with. “Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you feel like it doesn’t necessarily pertain to you because you may not have anything to do with that, 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 a sudden it starts to make sense to you,” he said. “God is love. This universe is love and that’s the only way it will function.”
Watch DeGeneres and Williams’ exchange in the video above.