Ellie Goulding going ahead with Dallas Cowboys show after Salvation Army criticism


Ellie Goulding has agreed to go ahead with a performance at the Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving half time show after threatening to pull out because the proceeds were going towards The Salvation Army's Red Kettle appeal.

The threat came after some of her fans suggested that The Salvation Army discriminates against members of the LGBTQ community. 

The criticism came after she shared a post to her Instagram account of her visiting a Salvation Army shelter in New York. 

In the post, she had praised The Salvation Army's work, saying: "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."

The British pop star later announced on Instagram that she would pull the plug on the performance after concerns were brought to her attention unless The Salvation Army "very quickly" donated to an LGBTQ cause.

"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 said, according to 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."

However, on Thursday, the National Commander of the Salvation Army, David Hudson, told Fox News that "misconceptions" had been cleared up and that Goulding would be going ahead with the performance as planned. 

"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," he said in a statement.

"We applaud her for taking the time to learn about the services we provide to the LGBT community. Regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, we're committed to serving anyone in need."

On Twitter on Thursday, Goulding did not address the dispute directly but suggested it had been resolved with a couple of posts in which she discussed her work on behalf of the homeless and her new partnership with The Salvation Army in the US. 

"I've dedicated the past 8 years to making as much money as I can for the homeless in London and beyond (as my UK fan base knows I put on a big show every year entirely by myself) and I spend every single Christmas with Crisis and shelter," she tweeted. 

"And now I am working with The Salvation Army in America too as it is my passion to help the homeless and eventually eradicate it completely. It's all love, thank you @SalvationArmyUS for allowing me to be a part of the wonderful things you do!"

Evangelist Franklin Graham criticised Goulding over her earlier position, writing on Facebook that it amounted to "LGBTQ blackmail". 

"Let her back out — that would've been my suggestion to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones," he wrote.

"To try to bully any organization because they are based on Christian principles is wrong. Her demand and attempt to intimidate was nothing more than activism run amuck. I'm sure there are hundreds of other qualified, talented singers who would love to perform at this halftime show."