Gospel singer Kim Burrell had been booked to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday, Jan. 5 to perform “I See a Victory,” a song from the film Hidden Figures, with Pharrell Williams — but now the host has canceled the appearance after Burrell’s apparent homophobic remarks have caused a firestorm.
A video emerged earlier this week showing Burrell, 44, giving a sermon in which she suggested gay people will die in 2017 due to their sins.
“I came to tell you about sin. That sin nature. That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused us pain on the body of Christ,” she said, according to the video.
“You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted… You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted,” Burrell reportedly said.
DeGeneres, an openly gay woman, announced via Twitter on Tuesday that Burrell will no longer be performing on her daytime program.
“For those asking, Kim Burrell will not be appearing on my show,” said the brief statement.
In addition to her career as a singer, Burrell is also the founder of Love and Liberty Fellowship Church International, a non-denominational Christian organization based in Houston, Texas.
Burrell responded to the controversy, defending herself via Facebook Live.
“We’re not in a war against flesh and blood,” she said in the livestream. “I came on because I care about God’s creation and every person from the LGBT and anything else, any other kind of thing that is supporting gay… I never said LGBT last night. I said S-I-N and whatever else falls in the sin was preached.”
Her duet partner, Pharrell Williams, addressed the incident on Twitter.
“I condemn hate speech of any kind,” he wrote on Saturday. “There is no room in the world for any kind of prejudice. My greatest hope is for inclusion and love for all humanity in 2017 and beyond.”
Janelle Monáe, a fellow collaborator on the Hidden Figures soundtrack, reposted Williams’ note on Instagram with an added message of her own.
“I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ 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 mouths! 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!”
Frank Ocean‘s mother, Katonya Breaux, has also spoken out against the singer. Breaux took to Twitter on Sunday to urge her son to remove Burrell’s vocals from the song “Godspeed,” a track off his latest album, Blonde.
Ocean has been famously open about his homosexuality, admitting that his first love was a man in a 2012 Tumblr post.