Singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding is threatening to cancel her halftime appearance of the Cowboys-Bills game on Thanksgiving Day over her newfound concerns about the Salvation Army.
The halftime show annually kicks off the charitable organization’s Red Kettle Campaign, and this year’s performance is scheduled to air nationally on CBS.
The Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game often ranks as the NFL’s most-viewed regular-season game.
An Instagram post made by Goulding on Tuesday morning, showing her helping at a Salvation Army center in New York, prompted critics of the Salvation Army to respond. While the post has almost 67,000 likes six hours later, some questioned Goulding’s support of the Salvation Army, which they accused of trans and homophobia.
Goulding, announced as the performer last Thursday, then made a demand of the Salvation Army.
“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 on social media, via the Dallas Morning News. “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.”
The Cowboys have hosted the Red Kettle Kickoff show since 1997, with the campaign raising more than $2.4 billion, according to the team’s media guide. The funds support Christmas toys for children in need as well as social service programs throughout the year.
Last week, Goulding was quoted in the release announcing her as this year’s performer: “I am honored to perform at the Dallas Cowboys halftime show and kick off The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. With so many people in need, I believe it’s our duty to help, and I encourage everyone to donate to The Salvation Army. The money they raise during the Red Kettle Campaign will change lives for the better all year long.”