"There's no space, there's no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on."
Pharrell's appearance on "Ellen" aired today, and he sat down for a chat with Ellen DeGeneres and also performed a song off the soundtrack to the new film "Hidden Figures." He was supposed to perform the single "I See a Victory," alongside gospel singer Kim Burrell, though it was revealed earlier this week that she had been axed from the show due to disparaging remarks she made about homosexuals.
Last week, footage of Burrell delivering a hateful sermon on the "perverted homosexual spirit" to her local church was broadcasted via Facebook Live. The recording went viral and incited widespread backlash. Many deemed it hypocritical that Burrell was set to perform on "Ellen," seeing that DeGeneres is a gay woman, the next week. Burrell also happened to add vocals to the song "Godspeed" by Frank Ocean, a gay man. A couple of days ago, Ocean's mother sent out a tweet asking her son to cut Burrell's voice from the song.
Toward the end of his interview, Ellen asked Pharrell to speak on the controversy surrounding Burrell. "You were supposed to perform [the other song] with a singer, I actually didn't know her, her name is Kim Burrell," said Ellen. "She made a statement, she was doing a Facebook Live, 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 was saying things about me."
Pharrell responded eloquently without condemning Burrell herself. "There's no space, there's no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on. There's no room," he said. "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, colorful world and it only works with inclusion and empathy. It only works that way."
He also spoke on how anyone who has felt oppression can relate to the offense taken by the LGBT community in response to Burrell's sermon. "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," he explained, "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."