Thursday's episode of The Ellen Show is a bit different than originally planned.
Gospel singer Kim Burrell was originally scheduled to perform a song from the Hidden Figures soundtrack with Pharrell Williams on the talk show, but her appearance was canceled after a video of Burrell making anti-gay statements at Houston's Love & Liberty Fellowship Church went viral. In the video Burrell calls homosexuality "perverted." On Tuesday, DeGeneres announced to fans on Twitter that Burrell would not be performing on the show, and Pharrell posted to Instagram denouncing “hate speech of any kind."
In a clip released from the episode, Pharrell and DeGeneres discuss Burrell and her comments directly. "(Burrell) 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's saying things about me," the host explained, before turning to Pharrell.
“There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on. There’s no room,” the artist said.
He added that Burrell is a "fantastic singer," and "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."
“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 continued. “I’m telling you, the world is a beautiful place 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 while he acknowledged hate can be powerful, he concluded with a further championing of inclusion.
"And I get it, sometimes the divisive stuff works in life. We learned that lesson last year that sometimes divisiveness works," he said. "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.”
Kelly Lawler , USA TODAY