Ellen DeGeneres is opening up about her decision to cancel singer Kim Burrell’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The talk show host sat down with Pharrell Williams following his performance on the show on Thursday, which Burrell was supposed to join him for, where the two had a conversation about Burrell’s recent anti-gay sermon, in which she suggested gay people will die in 2017 for their “sins.”
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“We have to talk about this before we go. You were supposed to do a different song from [Hidden Figures],” explained DeGeneres, who took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce that Burrell would no longer be appearing on the show. “You were supposed to perform [the other song] with a singer, 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 explained. “So we’ll let you talk about it.”
“There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on. There’s no room,” Williams responded. “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.”
“Live and let live. Love and let love,” he added.
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“Agreed. I think I say it all the time,” DeGeneres replied. “To me, 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. It gives me more empathy. I don’t ever want anyone to feel hurt because they are different.”
“Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you feel like it doesn’t 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 the sudden it starts to make sense to you,” Williams shared. “I’m telling you, the world is a beautiful placem but it does not work without empathy and inclusion.”
“God is love. This universe is love and that’s the only way it will function. And I get it, sometimes the divisive stuff works in life. We learned that lesson last year, that sometimes divisiveness words. But you have to choose what side you’re on,” he elaborated. “I’m choosing empathy. I’m choosing inclusion. I’m choosing love for everybody, 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.”
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DeGeneres wasn’t the only one upset by Burrell’s comments earlier this week.
Frank Ocean’s mom, Katonya Breau Riley, took to Twitter on Sunday to ask her son, who came out as bisexual in 2008, to crop Burrell’s vocals out of his song, “Godspeed.”
See more on the controversy in the video below.
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