Pharrell speaks out.
On Thursday (Jan. 5), Pharrell Williams appeared on “Ellen,” where he addressed controversy surrounding his “I See a Victory” collaborator Kim Burrell’s recent homophonic statements. P, who was set to join Burrell on the show for a performance of their Hidden Figures track, denounced her claim that the “perverted homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and confusion.”
“There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 or moving on,” said Williams. “She’s a fantastic singer and I love her, just like I love everybody else. 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.”
Pharrell continued, explaining his stance on divisiveness in this country, whether it pertains to homosexuality, gender, or race.
“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. God is love. This Universe is love and that’s the only way it will function. And I get it, that sometimes some of the divisive stuff works in life. We learned that lesson last year that sometimes divisiveness works, but you have to choose what side you’re on. I’m choosing empathy, I’m choosing inclusion, I’m choosing love for everybody just trying to lift everyone. Even when I disagree with someone, I’m wishing them the best and hoping for the best because we can’t win the other way.”
Ellen DeGeneres said that she had to cancel Burrell’s appearance on her program due to her anti-gay sermon. “I didn’t feel like that was good of me to have her on the show,” she explained, “to give her a platform after she’s saying things about me.”
Janelle Monáe, who stars in Hidden Figures, didn’t speak on the topic during her appearance on “Ellen.” However, she did address the matter during an interview with TMZ. “I am a huge advocate for the other,” she said. “I don’t stand for any hate speech or anything that targets our fellow brothers and sisters in a negative way.”
Burrell’s statements have had an impact beyond Hidden Figures. Frank Ocean’s mother Katonya Breaux recently said she wanted the gospel singer’s vocals removed from Blonde’s “Godspeed.” “Son, can we crop Kim Burrells voice out of your song??” she tweeted. “I mean damn. Hypocrisy and the inciting of hate pisses me off. Opportunistic &?%#€!!”
Me: Son, can we crop Kim Burrells voice out of your song??
— katonya breaux (@katonya) January 1, 2017