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Hidden Figures team speaks out against soundtrack singer's homophobic sermon


Pharrell Williams, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe are speaking out against Kim Burrell, the Hidden Figures gospel singer and pastor whose recent sermon condemning homosexuality as “perverted” and an “embarrassment” went viral after being posted on YouTube.

Burrell, who appears on the soundtrack with Williams on the track “I See a Victory,” received backlash after her sermon at the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston, where she is a senior pastor, hit the Internet on Dec. 30, and exposed her hateful speech against the “perverted homosexual spirit.”

Williams posted a message on Twitter that read, “I condemn hate speech of any kind. 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 and beyond.”

Janelle Monáe, who stars in the ’60s-set film about African-American women working for NASA, reposted Williams’ message on Instagram, adding her own note. “I shouldn’t even have to post this as you guys should already know where I stand but if you do not pls [sic] know that I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ community,” she wrote.

I shouldn't even have to post this as you guys should already know where I stand but If you do not pls know I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ community. In addition, I feel we all belong to the same community, a shared community called humanity. And 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. At times I want to punch and I want to slap a lot of people when I read and hear the shit that comes out their mouthes !!! I 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! WE can't afford anymore tearing down of our shared humanity. 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. But what do I know. My hope is that we ALL go into this new year considering for one moment that we don't have all the answers. My hope is that we become more understanding, less judgmental, more tolerate, and more patient with one another. Including me. HAPPY NEW YEAR. 🙏🏿❤

A post shared by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on

Octavia Spencer, who also stars in Hidden Figures, condemned Burrell’s message as well, with a note on Twitter that read, “I agree [with Williams]. We are all God’s children equal in his eyes. Hatred isn’t the answer. Isn’t the answer.”

I agree. We are all God's children equal in his eyes. Hatred isn't the answer. Intolerance isn't the answer.

A post shared by Octavia Spencer (@therealoctaviaspencer) on

For her part, Burrell posted a now-deleted Facebook Live video, in which she addressed her comments and defended herself, but made no apologies for her offensive words.

“I came on because I care about God’s creation and every person from the LGBT,” she said in the video, which can be viewed here. “I never said LGBT last night. I said S-I-N…Don’t you think I know people are going to be mad? I have to do what God tells me to do. I make no excuses or apologies. My heart is as pure as it comes and you know it when you hear me sing, that’s why you follow me.”

Burrell has also collaborated with Chaka Khan in the past, who took to Twitter to express her thoughts on the matter.

Burrell, Williams, and Monáe were set to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday, with Burrell and Williams slated to sing “I See a Victory.” But Ellen confirmed on Tuesday that Burrell will not participate.