During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that airs later today (January 5), super-producer Pharrell Williams had the opportunity to speak publicly on homophobic comments made by gospel singer and his “I See A Victory” collaborator, Kim Burrell.
Pharrell did not speak negatively of Burrell, and instead chose to stress the importance of “inclusion and empathy.”
“There’s no space. There’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017,” Pharrell said. “She’s a fantastic singer. And I love her. Just like I love everybody else. And we all gotta 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.”
Ellen DeGeneres, who ultimately made the decision to halt Burrell from appearing on her talk show, also chimed in on prejudice and discrimination. The talk show host, who married Portia de Rossi in 2008, is openly gay.
“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 how anyone who’s experienced that kind of oppression or anything like that, how — It only gives me more compassion,” DeGeneres said. “It gives me more empathy. I don’t ever want anyone to feel hurt because they’re different.”
Burrell was axed from performing on the show after video of the singer condemning “the perverted homosexual spirit” and “the spirit of delusion and confusion,” at a Houston, Texas church went viral.
Burrell would have performed “I See A Victory,” a song featured on the soundtrack to the film, Hidden Figures. Pharrell serves as a producer of the film, and also played a heavy role in the creation of the soundtrack.