Burrell was scheduled to perform with Williams on the show, but she was uninvited by DeGeneres after a tape of Burrell preaching at the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church began circulating online. During her sermon, which took place at an unspecified date, the Hidden Figures singer referred to the “homosexual spirit” and called specific homosexual acts “perverted.” Burrell later defended her comments in a since-deleted Facebook Live video saying said she would not apologize.
Burrell and Williams had planned on singing “I See Victory” from the Hidden Figures soundtrack.
“She said some very not nice things to say about homosexuals, so I didn’t feel that was good of me to have her on the show to give her a platform after she was saying things about me,” said DeGeneres.
“There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on,” said Williams, drawing a round of applause from the audience. “She’s a fantastic singer. I love her, just like I love everybody else, and we all got to get used to that.”
He continued, “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. “
DeGeneres agreed with Williams and stressed that people need to be kind to one another. She said as someone who has been on the receiving end of “a lot of hate and prejudice and discrimination because of who I choose to love,” she only feels extra compassionate and empathetic.
“Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you feel like it doesn’t necessarily pertain to you because you may not have anything to do with that, all you got to do is put the word ‘black’ in that sentence or put ‘gay’ in that sentence, or put ‘transgender’ in that sentence or put ‘white’ in that sentence, and all of a sudden it starts to make sense to you,” responded Williams. He said that while last year it was proved that “sometimes divisiveness works,” people have to choose the side they are on, and he chooses empathy, inclusion and love.
“Even when I disagree with someone, I’m wishing them the best and hoping for the best, because we can’t win the other way,” said Williams.
“I am with you,” replied DeGeneres.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.