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CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley slams media guidelines; Ryan Adams, Margo Price & Maren Morris also respond

Brad Paisley
photo by Ben Enos, via Brad Paisley Facebook

You may have heard that yesterday, the Country Music Association (CMA) sent out media guidelines for covering the 51st annual CMA Awards ceremony, and asked the press to not focus on “on the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like.” Here’s an excerpt of that section of the guidelines, via Nashville Scene:

In light of recent events, and out of respect for the artists directly or indirectly involved, please refrain from focusing your coverage of the CMA Awards Red Carpet and Backstage Media Center on the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like. It’s vital, more so this year than in year’s past due to the sensitivities at hand, that the CMA Awards be a celebration of Country Music and the artists that make this genre so great. It’s an evening to honor the outstanding achievements in Country Music of the previous year and we want everyone to feel comfortable talking to press about this exciting time. If you are reported as straying from these guidelines, your credential will be reviewed and potentially revoked via security escort. We appreciate your cooperation in advance. If you have any concerns on your coverage plans, please reach out to the CMA Communications team in advance so we can be a great partner as we celebrate “The 51st Annual CMA Awards.”

This understandably upset a lot of people, and some musicians have spoke out against the guidelines. Brad Paisley, who is co-hosting the ceremony with Carrie Underwood, called the guidelines “ridiculous and unfair,” and said “I’m sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind [them].”

UPDATE: Hours after Paisley’s tweet, CMA did in fact apologize and lift the restrictions.

Maren Morris, who was nominated three times including for Female Vocalist of the Year, retweeted Paisley and tweeted, “Country music has always been about the truth. Out of respect for the Las Vegas victims, let’s keep it that way.”

Margo Price, who has faced some backlash from fans who want her to keep politics out of music after releasing this year’s highly political All American Made, tweeted, “And people wonder why I’m not invited….”

Jason Isbell, who is among the Album of the Year nominees, hasn’t responded, but he has been vocal about gun control in the wake of the Vegas shooting (and his new album attacks racism and sexism), and he won’t be at the ceremony anyway.

Ryan Adams also offered this reply:

In addition to Jason Isbell and Maren Morris, CMA Awards nominees include Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Glen Campbell, WIllie Nelson, and more.

Here are the rest of those tweets:

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