Pharrell Williams and Janelle Monáe are backing away from Houston preacher and gospel star Kim Burrell, following a viral video of her delivering an anti-gay sermon. Burrell sings on “I See Victory,” a song from Pharrell’s soundtrack for the film Hidden Figures, in which Monáe co-stars. All three performers were set to appear on Thursday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, but Monáe told a TMZ photographer that Burrell won’t be there. (She declined to comment on whether “I See Victory” ought to be removed from the soundtrack.)
In the grainy video, Burrell describes specific sex acts as “perverted” and implies that gay people may die in 2017. “That perverted homosexual spirit is the spirit of delusion and confusion. It has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused a stain on the body of Christ,” she says. It’s not clear when the undated footage was shot. On December 31, Burrell appeared via Facebook Live to defend herself: “God loves you, but God hates the sin.”
Responding to the uproar, Pharrell posted an Instagram statement denouncing hate speech without mentioning Burrell by name. Monáe re-shared Pharrell’s post, adding her own thoughts in the caption: “I will rejoice when folks stop thinking they ARE GOD, Jesus’ assistant, picking and choosing what ‘sins’ are acceptable in the Bible, and using the Bible as a whip! … My advice: If your religion is causing you to spew out words of hate, judge, or look down on others because of who one loves then you need to change it.”
Read Monáe’s full statement below.
Update: In a tweet, Ellen DeGeneres confirmed that Burrell is not invited to Thursday’s show:
For those asking, Kim Burrell will not be appearing on my show.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 3, 2017
I shouldn’t even have to post this as you guys should already know where I stand but If you do not pls know I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ community. Actually I’m tired of that label. We all belong to the same community, a shared community called humanity. And today and tomorrow and the next day I will continue to stand with other like minded people who condemn any and all statements and actions that would seek to deny the basic humanity of our fellow brothers and sisters. We cannot sit Idly by nor will we speak silently when we are confronted with such violence against members of our community. I am personally beyond exhausted by the ignorance and bigotry living in some people. At times I want to punch and I want to slap a lot of people when I read and hear the shit that comes out their mouthes !!! I will rejoice when folks stop thinking they ARE GOD, Jesus’ assistant, picking and choosing what “sins” are acceptable in the Bible, and using the Bible as a whip! WE can’t afford anymore tearing down of our shared humanity. My advice: If your religion is causing you to spew out words of hate, judge, or look down on others because of who one loves then you need to change it. And fast. If the religion don’t make you are more loving or better person, ditch it. But what do I know. My hope is that we ALL go into this new year considering for one moment that we don’t have all the answers. My hope is that we become more understanding, less judgmental, more tolerate, and more patient with one another. Including me. HAPPY NEW YEAR. 🙏🏿?
A photo posted by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on