Kim Burrell, award-winning gospel artist and pastor/founder of the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in north Houston, has started 2017 in the midst of a media firestorm.
After a video of a recent sermon—featuring strong homophobic language, including references to the "perverted homosexual spirit"—was posted online last Friday, everyone from Ellen Degeneres, Pharrell and, now, Texas Southern University have reacted to her comments.
TSU announced on Wednesday that Burrell's radio show, Bridging the Gap, was cancelled. It debuted on KTSU 90.9 FM this past June. “The Kim Burrell show is no longer airing as part of KTSU Radio programming,” the university said in a statement.
Burrell was scheduled to perform alongside Pharrell on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday to promote her song on the Hidden Figures soundtrack. On Tuesday, the host and LGBTQ activist confirmed in a tweet that Burrell would not be performing.
For those asking, Kim Burrell will not be appearing on my show.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 3, 2017
"Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you feel like it doesn’t 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 the sudden it starts to make sense to you,” he says. “I’m telling you—the world is a beautiful place, but it does not work without empathy and inclusion. God is love. This Universe is love and that’s the only way it will function. And I get it, sometimes the divisive stuff works in life. We learned that lesson last year...but you have to choose what side you’re on. I’m choosing empathy. I’m choosing inclusion. I’m choosing love for everybody just trying to lift everyone. 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.”