Ellen DeGeneres has addressed her decision to ban a singer from appearing on her talk show this week after an anti-LGBT rant.
In a church sermon this week, pastor and singer Kim Burrell – who features on Pharrell track ‘I See A Victory’ – claimed that homosexuality is an “evil spirit” and that homosexuality is a perverted act.
Burrell claimed: “Anybody in this room who is filled with the homosexual spirit, pray God to free you. You’re playing with it in 2017, you’ll die from it.”
“That perverted, homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and confusion. If you, as a man, will open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted. If you are a woman and you shake your breasts in another woman’s face, you are perverted.”
By coincidence, the singer was set to perform alongside Pharrell on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today – but the out TV host dropped her from the segment amid the controversy.
Speaking to Pharrell on the show today, she explained: “We have to talk about this before we go on… you were supposed to be performing a different song, and you were supposed to perform it with Kim Burrell.
“She made a statement and she said some very not nice things to say 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.
“As someone who has received a lot of hate and prejudice and discrimination because of who I choose to love, I don’t understand anyone who has experienced that kind of oppression – it only gives me more compassion, I love everyone, I don’t want anyone to feel hurt because they’re different.”
Pharrell, who had already condemned Burrell’s comments, said: “There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017.
“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.”
He likened her comments to racism, saying: “Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and feel it doesn’t necessarily pertain to you… all you’ve got to do is put the word black in that sentence or gay in that sentence or white in that sentence, and all of a sudden it starts to make sense to you.
“The world is a beautiful place but it doesn’t work without empathy and inclusion. I get that sometimes the divisive stuff works in life, we learned that last year, but you have to choose which side you are on, and I’m choosing love for everybody. Even when I disagree with someone I’m wishing them the best because we can’t live that way.”