Credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images; Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Backstage at the Golden Globes Sunday night, Hidden Figures actress Janelle Monáe addressed the recent controversy surrounding gospel singer and pastor Kim Burrell, who sings “I See a Victory” with Pharrell Williams on the film’s soundtrack, following a recent sermon in which she made anti-LGBT comments.

“I’m pro-love,” Monáe said, while joining her costars and the team behind the LBGT-themed movie Moonlight, which won the Best Motion Picture – Drama Golden Globe. “I’ve been very supportive of love, and at the end of the day, I think that no matter where you come from and who you love, you deserve to have a right to the American dream and to also have your story told. … I just think that anybody who is representing hate is a part of the problem and I hope we can learn from each other and be more empathetic of one another, and I hope we can all remember that at the end of the day we all bleed the same color.”

Burrell came under scrutiny after speaking against the “perverted homosexual spirit” in a sermon at the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston where she is a senior pastor. Video of her speech was posted online in late December. Following backlash, Burrell went on Facebook Live to defend her sermon (she deleted the video, but it can be seen here). “I care about God’s creation and every person from the LGBT,” she said. “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.”

Soon after the sermon made its way onto the internet, Williams posted a message on Twitter, saying, “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.” Monáe and her Hidden Figures costar Octavia Spencer both reshared the message. Spencer captioned the Instagram post saying, “We are all God’s children equal in his eyes. Hatred isn’t the answer. Intolerance isn’t the answer.”

Monáe shared a much longer post. “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,” she said in part. “At times I want to punch and I want to slap a lot of people when I read and hear the s— that comes out their [mouths] … 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.”

Burrell and Williams were scheduled to perform together on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last Thursday, but Burrell did not appear. DeGeneres confirmed the lineup change on Twitter the day prior to the appearance.

Reporting by Marc Snetiker

Hidden Figures
  • Movie
  • 127 minutes

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