Country music star John Rich launched into a diatribe against his fellow country artists on Thursday, tearing into them for what he said was silence when it came to speaking up for their values.
In the tweet, he appeared to suggest that leftist ideologies were infiltrating the industry, and complicit country music singers were more apt to keep their mouths closed — perhaps out of fear of cancellation — thus allowing liberals to steamroll what they care about into the ground.
Rich made the remarks just one day after Wednesday night’s 2021 CMT Music Awards, which Rolling Stone praised for what it suggested was the annual show’s newfound “wokeness.”
What are the details?
In the Thursday morning tweet, the outspoken country star wrote, “There are many conservative country music singers that just won’t say anything to push back against the ideologies that aim to erase what they care about. Why? You know why. I hope soon we see them start to speak up. The country music industry is out of touch with the audience.”
There are many conservative country music singers that just won’t say anything to push back against the ideologies that aim to erase what they care about. Why? You know why. I hope soon we see them start to speak up. The country music industry is out of touch with the audience.
— John Rich (@johnrich) June 10, 2021
What happened Wednesday night?
According to Rolling Stone, the CMT Music Awards had five defining moments that detailed how “the show woke up.”
Rolling Stone’s Jon Freeman and Joseph Hudak began the lengthy article, “The producers of the 2021 CMT Music Awards were clearly paying attention. After a year-plus national conversation about equity, diversity, and, yes, racism, Wednesday night’s CMT Awards made a clear attempt to be inclusive, devoting airtime to artists and personalities of color.”
They continued, “While we would have liked to have seen the CMTs acknowledge June as LGBTQ Pride Month (especially after former CMT Awards host Kid Rock doubled down on a homophobic slur on Twitter a few hours earlier), the production was an admirable step forward in country music’s ongoing evolution.”
Several moments of diversity that caught their attention, Freeman and Hudak added, included Gladys Knight’s performance with Breland and Mickey Guyton to cover “Friendship Train,” which the pair said “has a stirring message of unity for a world about to go up in flames.”
“Somehow, it’s a message that — no offense — just hits different when it’s not coming from Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard,” the article added.
Freeman and Hudak also lauded the show for naming Linda Martell with CMT’s Equal Play Award “owing to her status as the lone black woman to have charted a solo single inside the country Top 20.”
“[I]t was the presentation of Video of the Year that best illustrated how CMT is reading the room and looking forward,” Freeman and Hudak noted. “Anthony Mackie, the black ‘Captain America’ star of Disney’s ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,’ made his CMT Awards debut to give the trophy to winners Carrie Underwood and John Legend — TV’s biggest superhero handing out the night’s biggest award.”
Rich’s remarks also come just a week after CMT fans threatened a boycott of the network after it urged viewers to support a Michael Bloomberg-backed gun control initiative from Everytown for Gun Safety.
The network tweeted its support of the movement last week, writing, “We’re (virtually) wearing orange today in support [sic] National Gun Violence Awareness Day and to call attention to more than 100 lives that are lost every day to gun violence. #WearOrange and visit rearrange.org for more.”
The tweet was not well received for many fans, and one user blasted the comment as “anti-gun propaganda disguised as virtue.”
“CMT has gone down the train with all other corporations who sell out to Woke extremists,” the user added.
Another Twitter user noted, “I for one, will not ever watch any station who champions any campaign against the 2nd Amendment, which is what CMT just did. You’d think they would know their audiance [sic], but you put woke idiots in charge, and you get stupidity.”
Yet another critic complained, “@CMT and @NASCAR have both forgotten who their core audience is again I see.”