Maren Morris may skip the CMAs after calling out transphobia in the industry

Maren Morris
Maren Morris Photo: Screenshot

Maren Morris’s 2022 album Humble Quest is nominated for a Country Music Association Award. But the singer is now unsure whether she will attend the ceremony on November 9 in Nashville, following a much-publicized feud with the wife of fellow country star Jason Aldean.

“Honestly, I haven’t decided if I’m gonna go,” she recently told The Los Angeles Times. “I’m very honored that my record is nominated. But I don’t know if I feel [at] home there right now. So many people I love will be in that room, and maybe I’ll make a game-time decision and go. But as of right now, I don’t feel comfortable going.”

Morris discussed the dust-up with Aldean’s wife, conservative influencer Brittany Kerr Aldean, and how she feels about the country music industry more broadly.

Last month, after Brittany posted a video to her 2.2 million Instagram followers echoing anti-trans misinformation, singer Cassadee Pope tweeted in response that “You’d think celebs with beauty brands would see the positives in including LGBTQ+ people in their messaging. But instead here we are, hearing someone compare their ‘tomboy phase’ to someone wanting to transition. Real nice.”

Morris commented on Pope’s tweet: “It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie.”

“I hate feeling like I need to be the hall monitor of treating people like human beings in country music. It’s exhausting,” she said. “But there’s a very insidious culture of people feeling very comfortable being transphobic and homophobic and racist, and that they can wrap it in a joke and no one will ever call them out for it. It just becomes normal for people to behave like that.”

She blamed the culture of misinformation online and in conservative media for emboldening anti-trans sentiment. “It’s not, ‘Oh, this is bad, and this is good, and we can agree to disagree.’ No, we can’t, and you are being fed information that is false. And even though you’re not the one with the bullet in the gun, your words matter. Your disinformation matters. That hospital in Boston just had a bomb threat because people who listen to that rhetoric literally think they’re mutilating kids and don’t bother reading any sort of actual study on it.”

Morris herself was a target of Tucker Carlson’s ire. After the Aldeans appeared on the Fox News host’s show, Carlson called Morris a “lunatic country music person.” She then put that phrase on a T-shirt, raising over $100,000 for Trans Lifeline and GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program.

And Morris has no regrets about her public feud with the couple.

“The whole ‘When they go low, we go high’ thing doesn’t work with these people,” she said. “Any resistance movement is not done with kind words. And there’s a lot worse things I could’ve called her. I sleep pretty good at night knowing that people feel safer in my crowd.”

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