The singer’s attempt to defend her remarks backfired enormously.
Portia de Rossi, Ellen DeGeneres and Katy Perry attend the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images.
Ellen DeGeneres isn’t exactly Hollywood’s biggest lightning rod for controversy. As one of the world’s favorite talk show hosts, she’s far more known for bringing audiences and people together in moments of joy. But when Ellen is forced to make a statement, she does so with conviction.
Case in point: singer Kim Burrell was scheduled to appear on an episode of Ellen’s daytime talk show this last year. The singer was going to perform with Pharrell Williams and Janelle Monáe in a live version of their song from the Hidden Figures show.
However, it was revealed Burrell had made homophobic made homophobic comments during a sermon. Video of that sermon went viral, creating a groundswell of pressure on the singer after uttering comments such as:
“The perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion... has deceived many men and women,” adding, “You play with it in God’s house in 2017, you’ll die from it.”
However, Burrell stood by her remarks in a Facebook video saying that her Christian beliefs dictate that she condemn members of the LGBTQ community:
“I love you and God loves you,” she said. “But God hates the sin.”
Pharrell spoke out against the comments in a post on Instagram, writing:
“I condemn hate speech of any kind. There is no room in this world for any kind of prejudice.”
Monáe chimed in as well, adding, “I am personally beyond exhausted by the ignorance and bigotry living in some people.”
All of that made it easy for Ellen to cancel Burrell’s appearance in a simple but direct statement on Twitter:
Despite the backlash, Burrell showed no signs of backing down from her homophobic statements. Instead, she expressed disappointment with the reaction from fellow Christian singers who also condemned her remarks, saying that, “Not enough people defended it.” Burrell also accused her peers of hypocrisy.
“They went for so long giving me one thing, but then the truth came out about their feelings concerning whatever,” Burrell said. “They kind of jumped on the bandwagon of famous people. I think that's because they decided to be more famous than Kingdom-minded.”