UPDATE: The Salvation Army confirms Ellie Goulding will perform at the halftime show on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium.
ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Less than a week after being named the performer at this year’s Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving halftime show, singer Ellie Goulding has threatened to cancel her performance after fans criticized the Salvation Army’s alleged stance on the LGBTQ community.
The Grammy-nominated singer was scheduled to perform during halftime of the game against the Buffalo Bills, but now the team may need to find a replacement.
Goulding had posted on Instagram Tuesday about being thankful for being able to work with the Salvation Army. However, a fan’s comment caught Goulding’s attention after it accused the organization of trans and homophobia.
View this post on Instagram
Ok so maybe hairnet not my strongest look but thank you @salvationarmyus for having us in New York. As you know, I have spent a lot of time in shelters in London, and this was my first time in NYC… The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need. I sat and spoke to several people who had come in from the bitter cold for some food (they serve to over 150 per day here) , warmth and perhaps a chat with one of the volunteers. 🙏🏼
Goulding went on to reply about her concern with the Salvation Army, which kicks off its annual Red Kettle campaign during the Thanksgiving Day halftime show.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
On its website, the Salvation Army said it will offer assistance with shelter and poverty to anyone who needs it. It also said it’s “committed to serving the LGBTQ community.”
CBS 11 has reached out for a statement from the Salvation Army and late Wednesday afternoon received a statement from Commissioner David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army:
We’d like to thank Ellie Goulding and her fans for shedding light on misconceptions and encouraging others to learn the truth about The Salvation Army’s mission to serve all, without discrimination. We applaud her for taking the time to learn about the services we provide to the LGBTQ community. Regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, we’re committed to serving anyone in need. Every day, we provide services such as shelter for the transgender community and resources for homeless youth – 40 percent of whom identify as gay or transgender. Ellie’s performance in the 23rd annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Kickoff during the Dallas Cowboys game Thanksgiving Day on CBS will kick off a season of giving that helps support these and many other programs and services throughout the country.
For the past two decades, the Salvation Army has launched its annual Red Kettle Campaign on Thanksgiving Day with the help of the Cowboys.
Caroline Vandergriff contributed to this report.