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Ellen, Pharell speak out about banning singer who made homophobic comments

Ellen and Pharrell on Ellen

Screengrab via The Ellen Show/YouTube

‘I don’t want anyone to feel hurt because they’re different.’

In an interview with Pharrell yesterday, Ellen explained why she banned gospel performer Kim Burrell from appearing alongside him on the show.

“She made a statement 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,” Ellen told Pharrell. 

“Well, there’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017,” Pharrell responded.

Burrell, who sings a duet with the Pharrell on the Hidden Figures soundtrack, gave a homophobic sermon saying that gay people have been cursed with a “perverted” homosexual spirit. Her comments were condemned by Hidden Figure stars Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, as well as Pharrell himself leading up to her scheduled appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Ellen announced Tuesday that Burrell would no longer be appearing. 

In the interview, Pharrell called Burrell a fantastic singer, however, he also told Ellen, “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.” 

Ellen agreed. “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 don’t want anyone to feel hurt because they’re different.”

Mehak Anwar

Mehak Anwar

Mehak Anwar is a reporter whose work focuses on LGBTQ rights, intersectional feminism, and race. Her byline has appeared in Bustle and the Huffington Post.