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2017 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - Day 3

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

A video of gospel singer Kim Burrell being highly condescending and rude in a speech at a church has made the rounds on the Internet, sparking a wave of backlash that focused on her problematic past.
The singer delivered a sermon to parishioners at the Kingdom City Church on Sunday (July 17th), part of which was captured on video. In the clip, Burrell speaks about “choosing up” when choosing friends and partners. “Sometimes, before we get friends, we have to do an interview: How long you been broke? How many times have you changed your name on your light bill?” Burrell said in a jesting tone. She’d continue on in a disparaging way. “I haven’t chosen anyone to be ugly yet. God is good. God is great. You all look great. Most of you have on hats covering most of that anyway. Here’s to you,” she continued. Burrell would also commend those not wearing a mask or having been vaccinated as “walking by faith”, before joking with church members that they can invite her back if they can afford her, nudging them to use their PPP loan.

The video was shared on Twitter by a user named Chaleah, who wrote in the caption: “And THIS is why people don’t go to Church. There was no Jesus in this.”

https://twitter.com/Chaleah__/status/1549099576266821634

The response to Burrell’s “sermon” was swift and merciless online, which prompted the singer to issue an
apology statement through her social media accounts. But that would be picked apart as well. The singer has placed herself in the center of controversy due to her inappropriate remarks about the LGBTQ+ community. In 2016, she delivered a sermon that was deeply homophobic which included this statement: “You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted… You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.” The comments would lead to her being banned from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, on which she had been scheduled to appear. Pharrell Williams, who had put together the Hidden Figures motion picture soundtrack that Burrell sang “I See A Victory” on, also took her to task for those comments.

Here are some of the more fiery clapbacks to Burrell’s sermon below.

1. ElleB

Twitter user ElleB shared a video of someone offering their candid opinion of Burrell’s meanness, writing:
“He read Kim Burrell 3 years ago, and it still applies.”

2. AJsayshey

Twitter user AJaysayshey threw a jab at Burrell over her age: “But if I said we need to start asking how Gabrielle Union and Tracee Ellis Ross are the same age as her I’d be wrong…her being younger than 60 was unexpected”

3. clarencelinear

This Twitter user ripped apart Burrell’s apology statement from top to bottom, writing: “This is what we call gaslighting. This is what we call a non apology-apology. This is what we call doubling down on stupid.”

4. Jonah Sahn

The podcast host and organizer called out Burrell’s quip about PPP loans, unearthing records of the singer’s own foible in that area: “Kim Burrell sitting up here talking bout “whatever might be left over from your PPP loan” what about YOUR PPP loan sis?”

5. RickyKavin1213

The educator uploaded a clip of Burrell’s past distasteful behavior from her time as a judge on the BET reality show Sunday Best.

6. Keith Boykin

The prominent author tweeted out the clip of Burrell’s sermon with a quote from the Bible that highlighted how heinous her words were.

7. Jenn Jackson

The professor and columnist for Teen Vogue reminded everyone about Jesus’ true beliefs and actions with her tweet.

8. KirkWrites79

The showrunner had plenty to say about Burrell’s comments, evidenced by this memorable line.