Pharrell Williams and Ellen DeGeneres discussed the absence of gospel singer and pastor Kim Burrell and her remarks against the LGBT community during Thursday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Burrell was scheduled to perform with Williams on the show, but she was uninvited by DeGeneres after a tape of Burrell preaching at the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church began circulating online. During her sermon, which took place at an unspecified date, the Hidden Figures singer referred to the “homosexual spirit” and called specific homosexual acts “perverted.” Burrell later defended her comments in a since-deleted Facebook Live video saying said she would not apologize.
“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.
“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 has been married to Portia de Rossi since 2008, 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.”