Houston's Kim Burrell Booted From Ellen Show After Homophobic Comments

Kim Burrell
Kim Burrell
Photo by Bruce McKinzy/Courtesy of Shanachie Entertainment

Just eight days before she was supposed to sing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, renowned gospel singer Kim Burrell came under fire for homophobic comments she made during a sermon in Houston that went viral... and ultimately got her booted from the show.

At church service last week at Houston's Love and Liberty Fellowship Church International, where she is a pastor, Burrell said she was there to "talk about sin" and described gay people as "perverted." She also suggested that people who had a "homosexual spirit" could die from it in 2017.  "The perverted homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and confusion, and has deceived many men and women," she said.

The comments went viral after one person in attendance took a short clip of her sermon.

Burrell was supposed to perform on The Ellen Show in connection with her role as a collaborator on the Hidden Figures soundtrack, which also features Pharrell Williams. The movie — starring Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer — is a historical drama about three African-American mathematicians and engineers who played key roles in launching John Glenn into space.

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Following the viral video, Degeneres took to Twitter to make a curt announcement, saying Burrell would no longer be performing. Williams and Monáe, though never naming Burrell, also spoke out against hate speech on social media.

"I condemn hate speech of any kind," Williams wrote on Instagram. "There is no room in this world for any kind of prejudice. My greatest hope is for inclusion and love for all humanity in 2017 in beyond." Monáe shared Williams's statement, then added her own, more lengthy statement as well, beginning:  "I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ community."

Burrell, meanwhile, said she would not apologize for the comments in her response to the backlash, which she aired via Facebook Live.

"I came on because I care about God's creation. And every person from the LGBT and anything else or any other kind of thing that is supporting gay, I never said LGBT last night. I said S-I-N. And whatever is called into sin [is what] was preached. What was posted was not all I preached, too. Isn't that something? That is the design of the enemy, to make it look like I have a personal agenda against people."

She added: "For every person who is dealing with the homosexual spirit, that has it, I love you because God loves you, but God hates the sin," then signed off by saying that people wouldn't be mad at her and wouldn't be hurt if they "didn't love me first."


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