Today, Pharrell appeared on Ellen to perform a song and to talk about his work on the soundtrack of the movie Hidden Figures. But as it turned out, he and Ellen DeGeneres had something more serious to discuss. Pharrell had been booked to perform the song “I See A Victory” with gospel star Kim Burrell. But recently, footage of Burrell decrying homosexuality, talking about gay people dying in 2017, went viral. As a result, Pharrell and Hidden Figures star Janelle Monáe put out statements decrying hate speech. And Burrell was dropped from appearing on Ellen. So when Pharrell and Degeneres got done talking about the movie and about the baby that Pharrell has on the way, they had to address the elephant in the room. Here’s what Pharrell had to say about Burrell’s words:
There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017, moving on. There’s no room. 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. Live and let live, love and let love…
Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you feel like it doesn’t necessarily pertain to you because you may not have anything to do with that, all you gotta 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 a sudden it starts to make sense to you. I’m telling you, the world is a beautiful place, but it does not work without empathy and inclusion.
Meanwhile, here’s how DeGeneres dealt with it:
She said some very not nice things about homosexuals, so I didn’t feel like that was good of me to have her on the show, to give her a platform, after she’s saying things about me…
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’re different.
Here’s the video of their conversation:
And Pharrell also performed the Hidden Figures soundtrack “Runnin'”; here’s that video:
Burrell has yet to respond publicly to being dropped from the Ellen appearance.