Ellen DeGeneres & Pharrell Williams Address Kim Burrell's Homophobic Comments

Kim Burrell may have been disinvited from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, but she was definitely the elephant in the room.

DeGeneres canceled the gospel singer's performance with Pharrell Williams after Burrell made comments condemning the LGBT community as "perverted." Instead, Williams was invited to sing a different song from the film Hidden Figures solo on Thursday's show. Before he took the stage, however, he and DeGeneres cleared the air about Burrell's homophobic remarks.

"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," the openly gay DeGeneres explained to her audience.

She then asked Williams for his take.

"There's no space, there's no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on," the "Happy" singer said, prompting applause from the studio audience. "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, colourful world and it only works with inclusion and empathy. It only works that way. Live and let live. Love and let love."

"Agreed," DeGeneres replied. "I think I say it all the time. 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."

Williams, who produced Hidden Figures, offered his approach to understanding discrimination.

"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," he shared. "I'm telling you, the world is a beautiful place but it does not work without empathy and inclusion.

"God is love," he continued. "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. 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."

Watch the discussion in the video below.
Video: Courtesy of Warner Bros. TV.
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