Pharrell & Ellen Aren’t Runnin’ From Homophobia. They Tackle It Head On. (Video)
This morning (January 5), Pharrell Williams appeared on Ellen. The Neptunes/N*E*R*D co-founder was not joined by “Runnin'” collaborator Kim Burrell, as originally planned. Earlier this week, the Grammy-nominated Gospel/Christian singer was cancelled from appearing on Ellen DeGeneres’ show, following her sermon at Love and Liberty Fellowship Church International. After those remarks went public, Kim used Facebook Live to clarify the original statements that condemned homosexuality.
Burrell’s cancellation made news, and the show host and the Hip-Hop superstar addressed the comments directly the same week. “[Kim Burrell] made a statement, she was doing a Facebook live, and she said some very not-nice things about homosexuals,” says Ellen. “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.” DeGeneres, who came out as a lesbian 20 years ago, was referring to Burrell’s claim that same-sex couples are a “perversion” and “sin.” The former Tommy Boy Records artist, now 44, went into graphic detail about her prohibition of sexual acts involving same sex couples.
After Ellen discussed the remarks, Pharrell stated his opinion. “There’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017, and moving on. [Kim Burrell is] a fantastic singer and I love her, just like I love everybody else,” said the Star Trak Records co-founder. “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.” Following the initial remarks, the Virginia artist/producer posted a message of love and inclusion on Instagram. However, at that time, the music vet never mentioned his “Runnin'” collaborator by name.
“Runnin'” is the opening track from the Hidden Figures soundtrack, which is largely featuring and produced by Skateboard P.
Last year, Burrell also appeared on Frank Ocean’s Blonde album, care of the song “Godspeed.” Ocean, who has identified as a member of the LGBTQ community has not responded public. However, the Odd Future/Def Jam Records singer’s mother suggested Burrell be removed from the #1 charting album. Texas Southern University cancelled Burrell’s radio show, Bridging The Gap With Kim Burrell, following this week’s remarks. Hidden Figures film stars Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe have since stepped forward to dismiss any attachment to Burrell’s opinions.
Previously, Kim has collaborated with Missy Elliott, R. Kelly, and George Clinton.