With little more than two weeks remaining until the Dallas Cowboys play on Thanksgiving, the scheduled performer of the halftime show at AT&T Stadium is threatening to call it off.
Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding signaled that she is prepared to pull out of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Kickoff, a halftime concert that marks the beginning of the annual Red Kettle Campaign, unless the organization pledges a significant donation to the LGBTQ community.
The conflict began when Goulding posted her support for the organization on Instagram.
Several of Goulding’s fans blasted the organization in the post’s comments, with one calling it “extremely homo/transphobic” and accusing it of “letting queer homeless [people] die.” Indeed, the organization has a considerable history of reported discrimination and political lobbying against the LGBTQ community, with one of its media directors once going so far as to say it is the group’s belief that gay people deserve death.
Goulding reacted to the fan’s comment by replying that she would pull out of the concert she had announced five days ago unless the Salvation Army unless it makes a donation to the LGBTQ community.
The full comment:
Upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community. I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do. Thank you for drawing my attention to this x
In response to Goulding’s comment, the Salvation Army emailed a statement to the Dallas Morning News that declined to say whether or not the concert would go on as planned and lamented how “myths can perpetuate” about its documented history of discrimination.
As many football fans know, the Salvation Army has a significant presence at Cowboys Stadium, with the teams players sometimes jumping into a giant Salvation Army bucket.
That presence was set to continue with Goulding during halftime of the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving date against the Buffalo Bills. The Red Kettle Kickoff halftime show has long been a part of the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving games as an event that kicks off a campaign running from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.
Performers such as Selena Gomez, Keith Urban and Destiny’s Child have been featured at the concert, with last year’s Meghan Trainor performance marking the beginning of a fundraiser the Salvation Army said brought in $142.7 million in its release announcing Goulding.
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