A British singer scheduled to perform at the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game threatened to cancel her halftime show promoting The Salvation Army’s biggest charitable fundraiser after some fans attacked the Christian charity as “anti-LGBTQ.”
Just days after announcing on Instagram she was “excited” to be kicking off The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding—also a social activist and self-described philanthropist—said she will “have no choice” but to back out of her commitment unless the charity gives in to her demands.
“With so many people in need, I believe it’s our duty to help, and I encourage everyone to donate to The Salvation Army,” Goulding said just last week in a press release. “The money they raise during the Red Kettle Campaign will change lives for the better all year long.”
Goulding also posted pictures of her serving at a Salvation Army facility and again praised the organization’s charitable work.
But Goulding changed her tune in response to backlash from Instagram commenters who criticized her for endorsing a charity they claim is “homophobic” and “transphobic:”
“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.”
The Salvation Army’s website features a page highlighting its service to the LGBTQ community. It is unclear what “pledge” the performer expects from the charity.
The Red Kettle Campaign helps provide shelter and meals for the homeless and hungry, Christmas toys for children, and social service programs to millions of people year-round. The campaign, which runs Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Eve, is the largest and longest-running fundraiser of its kind and raised over $140 million in 2018.