Saturday 19 August 2017

Ellen DeGeneres axes singer from show after 'hate filled' homophobic rant

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres
US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Photo: Reuters

Sasha Brady

Ellen DeGeneres has banned a famous gospel singer from appearing on her show following her homophobic rant.

Famed gospel singer Kim Burrell was set to perform with Pharrell Williams on the US chat show this week but was axed by the show's producers after she delivered a public homophobic rant.

In a church sermon last week, the pastor and singer - who features on Pharrell's song I See A Victory - claimed that homosexuality is an "evil spirit" and that homosexuality is a "perverted act".

She claimed: "Anybody in this room who is filled with the homosexual spirit, pray God to free you. You're playing with it in 2017, you'll die from it.

(L-R) Kim Burrell and Pharrell Williams perform onstage during the Citi Concert Series on TODAY at Rockefeller Center on December 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for CITI)
(L-R) Kim Burrell and Pharrell Williams perform onstage during the Citi Concert Series on TODAY at Rockefeller Center on December 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for CITI)

"That perverted, homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and confusion. If you, as a man, will open your mouth and take a man's penis in your face, you are perverted.

"If you are a woman and you shake your breasts in another woman's face, you are perverted."

DeGeneres, who was awarded the Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in November, tweeted to say Burrell would not be appearing on the show. The chat show host and comedian came out as gay almost two decades ago, an act which she almost risked her career for.

Pharrell also responded to the backlash Burrell has since received to say he condemns hate speech of "any kind".

US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Photo: Reuters
US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Photo: Reuters

Burrell has defended her rant and took to Facebook to respond to the criticism.

She said: “I never said ‘LGBT’ in the sermon. I said ‘S-I-N… I know that people are going to be mad. … To every person that is dealing with the homosexual spirit, that has it, I love you because God loves you. But God hates the sin in you and me, anything that is against the nature of God. I’m called to do what God called me to do, and that’s it, and I do it with passion. … I make no excuses or apologies.”

Kim Burrell Visits Music Choice at Music Choice on June 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
Kim Burrell Visits Music Choice at Music Choice on June 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

She said: “I never said that all gays were going to hell. That never came out of my mouth. … I said people who operate with that spirit in the church with deception and attack themselves are going to have to face the master.”

Burrell and Pharrell were due to promote their new song which features on the soundtrack to Hidden Figures.

Ellen DeGeneres, left, with her wife Portia de Rossi
Ellen DeGeneres, left, with her wife Portia de Rossi

Stars of the movie, including Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, have also publicly condemned Burrell's remarks.

Spencer said: “We are all God’s children equal in his eyes. Hatred isn’t the answer. Intolerance isn’t the answer.”

Monae added: “I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ community… we all belong to the same community, a shared community called humanity.

“Today and tomorrow and the next day I will continue to stand with other like minded people who condemn any and all statements and actions that would seek to deny the basic humanity of our fellow brothers and sisters.

“We cannot sit Idly by nor will we speak silently when we are confronted with such violence against members of our community. I am personally beyond exhausted by the ignorance and bigotry living in some people.

She added: “My advice: If your religion is causing you to spew out words of hate, judge, or look down on others because of who one loves then you need to change it. And fast. If the religion don’t make you are more loving or better person, ditch it.”

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