Everybody knows that The Ellen Degeneres Show, and Ellen Degeneres herself, is happy environment that promotes laughter, love, and acceptance. Many celebrities, like Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon, count the talk show host as a friend. She often gets major stars to do the silliest things (anybody remember Barack Obama dad-dancing back in the day?) and open up about their personal lives. Unless you're Ryan Gosling and try to ride away from that kind of talk while on a stationary bike. So it was pretty surprising when Degeneres came under fire this past week for an upcoming guest booked to appear on the show.
After it was discovered that legendary gospel singer Kim Burrell would appearing on the comedian's talk show, many fans began protesting the show they love so much. According to Vulture, Burrell went on a homophobic rant while preaching at her Houston-based congregation. Degeneres is a gay icon, often using her celebrity status to talk about LGBTQ rights. Her fans were disappointed that Burrell seemed to still be slated to appear on Degeneres' show after her rant went public. The comedian took to Twitter on Tuesday to finally comment on the situation. She sent out a tweet that read "for those asking, Kim Burrell will not be appearing on my show."
Burrell was supposed to join singer Pharrell on the show to sing "I See Victory," which is featured on the soundtrack for the film Hidden Figures. Pharrell was quick to send out a message to his fans on Twitter following Burrell's rant, writing that he "condemn[s] hate speech of any kind." He did not, however, address Burrell or her controversy specifically.
Janelle Monáe, who stars in the film Hidden Figures, was also scheduled to appear alongside Burrell and Pharrell. Following in Pharrell's footsteps, Monáe released a statement that did not address Burrell or Degeneres by name. She wrote in an Instagram post that she "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!"
While Degeneres kept her comments on the matter short and to the point, she was still able to send a clear message on where she stands. We wouldn't be surprised if she addressed the matter further on her show, handling the unfortunate situation with her signature wit and empathy.