Pharrell Williams and Janelle Monae were guests on Thursday's episode of Ellen, promoting their new movie Hidden Figures, which stars Monae along with Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer. The film was produced by Pharrell, who also wrote and recorded music for the soundtrack.
The episode was also supposed to feature Pharrell performing one of the songs from the movie, "I See a Victory," along with gospel singer Kim Burrell, who appears on the soundtrack. However, after a sermon in which Burrell made some very anti-gay remarks surfaced, Ellen decided to cancel the singer's appearance on the show (Pharrell performed a different song instead).
Pharrell and Ellen talked a bit about the statements Burrell made, and why they don't feel that 2017 should be about intolerance and discrimination.
Explaining his view on religious intolerance, Pharrell says,
There’s no space, there's no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on. There’s no room. She’s a fantastic singer, I love her, just like I love everybody else, and we all got to 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.
Ellen agreed, saying,
When I say be kind to one another, I feel that. Because as someone who has received a lot of hate and prejudice and discrimination because of who I choose to love, I just don’t understand anyone who has experienced that kind of oppression or anything like that … it only gives me more compassion. It gives me more empathy. I don’t ever want anyone to feel hurt because they are different.