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Pop Star Ellie Goulding Threatens to Cancel Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show Over Salvation Army Ties

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Pop star Ellie Goulding is threatening to cancel her performance at this year’s Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game over the team's ties with the Salvation Army and its annual Christmastime giving campaign, saying she'll nix her part of the show unless the Christian-based organization makes a donation specifically to an LGBTQ group.

The holiday game, this year pitting the Cowboys against the Buffalo Bills, marks the annual kickoff for the nearly 130-year-old Salvation Army’s famous Red Kettle Campaign, the donations from which benefit the homeless and provides toys for poor children. As reported by the Dallas News, the Salvation Army has launched its yearly fundraising campaign during the Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day halftime show for more than two decades, thanks to Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones and his family.

"Since 1997, the Jones family has dedicated the Cowboys’ annual Thanksgiving Day halftime performance as a national showcase to kick off The Salvation Army’s iconic Red Kettle Campaign," the Cowboy's site explains, adding, "The team’s association with network television spawns a donation of millions of dollars in airtime every year to present nationally televised entertainment extravaganzas that have created a beloved holiday tradition."

The most recent outrage was apparently sparked by this post from Goulding herself wearing a Salvation Army apron and expressing support for the non-profit group and its mission to help the less fortunate.

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“The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services,” Goulding wrote. “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.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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. 🙏🏼

A post shared by elliegoulding (@elliegoulding) on

 

Now, as with so many celebrities before her, it looks like Goulding caved to pressure from LGBT groups who alleged the Salvation Army is a “homophobic” and otherwise bigoted organization, largely because of the group's Christian roots. Goulding now says she'll cancel her upcoming performance unless the Salvation Army "very quickly make[s] a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community."

“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," Goulding 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.”

In response, the Salvation Army reiterated that “An individual’s sexual or gender identity, religion, or lifestyle has no bearing on our willingness to provide service. We stand firmly behind our mission to meet human needs in [Jesus’] name without discrimination.”

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