International pop star Ellie Goulding has found herself in the middle of a controversy after a dust-up with Twitter user @PokePro101. Goulding recently tweeted the following about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump:
Donald Trump continues to say that climate change is a "hoax", and that he would scrap the Paris agreement. Just putting that out there.
— Ellie Goulding (@elliegoulding) May 27, 2016
Goulding's statement is absolutely true; as recently as this week, Trump formally announced his intent to withdraw the US from the UN's international climate accord, as well as an intent to resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline between the US and Canada -- provided that the US reap a large share of the oil revenues:
He said President Obama, who in November formally rejected a permit for Keystone to cross into the U.S., "doesn't know what the hell he is doing."
"I want the Keystone pipeline, but the people of the United States should be given a significant piece of the profits," Trump said.
"That's how we're going to make our country rich again, and it's how we're going to make America great again."
But despite all of the controversies surrounding Trump and his presidential campaign, @PokePro101 had the following to say to Goulding's denouncement of Trump:
@elliegoulding Don't stick your nose into politics and make me not want to go to your concert in June
— Tom Leising (@PokePro101) May 27, 2016
Goulding's response was equally biting:
@PokePro101 Don't come please
— Ellie Goulding (@elliegoulding) May 27, 2016
An Outspoken Celebrity
But this is not the first time Goulding has spoken out against Donald Trump and his candidacy, leaving choice words about him at least since last fall. Additionally, she has spoken out in support of a number of causes, including battling climate change, animal rights, and even eliminating homelessness in her British homeland. On Christmas Eve 2015, she volunteered at the Marylebone Project in central London to support efforts to end homelessness and especially to eliminate the stigma associated with the homeless population:
"It's not just about working yourself back up to be in a job it's also about social life, getting confidence again. Because on the street people, especially women can get shouted at, urinated on at times, get stepped over and ignored. To me it's just something I cannot ignore and everyone I meet who's interested in what I do for the homeless I really talk about it and really try and educate people.
"It's that stigma of what a homeless person is -- they abuse drugs or abuse alcohol. It's just not true, some people come from very normal backgrounds, very normal situations and something goes wrong. It can happen to all of us."
However, despite her history of tackling societal issues, Goulding was taken to task by British tabloid UnrealityTV, which was critical of her response to the "fan" who told her to stay out of politics:
Most artists are doing everything they can to try to convince their fans to buy a ticket to their concerts, but Ellie Goulding is actually doing the opposite.
In a pretty surprising move, Ellie took to Twitter to actually tell a fan not to come to one of her upcoming shows after the social media user put Goulding on blast over a controversial tweet about US presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
But perhaps @PokePro101 is another example of just how the 2016 presidential election has exposed the deep divisions within America. Goulding may not be a United States citizen, but given the possible ramifications of what a Trump presidency could do to the stability of our country's international relations, she has just as much right as anyone else to be concerned. So for PokePro101 to effectively tell her to butt out -- and for a tabloid in her home country to call her out for exercising her own freedom of speech -- reflects poorly on our society's overall ability to debate issues and politics without resorting to personal attacks. We see further examples every day, with seemingly every Trump rally drawing more and more protesters like those in San Diego this evening. If trends continue, I can personally foresee someone actually being killed in the political furor before the November election -- and Ellie Goulding, despite not being from America, may be able to see the warning signs better than a large number of Americans.
In the end, Goulding had every right to defend her own freedom of speech. She has no way to know what PokePro101 may try to start amongst other fans there trying to enjoy the show. She has no way of knowing if he plans on causing a disturbance or staging a political protest of his own just to make a point against her. By attempting to shut him down early on, Goulding is attempting to make her concert venue a welcome place for all of her "Goulddiggers." Concerts can certainly be about making social or political statements, but judging from her response to this so-called "fan," this does not seem to be what Ellie Goulding wants for her US tour. Yet that does not trump her right to speak out against issues which are important to her -- and which may very well have wide-ranging implications for both of our countries' futures.