However, there may be one award show this year that won’t be as infected with politics: the Country Music Awards.
In light of the recent mass shooting at a Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and over 500 injured, the Country Music Association is asking reporters not to ask any questions related to the massacre, gun rights, political affiliations, or “topics of the like.”
The Association says the new guidelines are “out of respect for the artists directly or indirectly involved.”
“It’s vital, more so this year than in years 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,” the Association explained in a notice to reporters. “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 an outlet decides to bring up firearms issues or other politically-charged subjects, it risks losing its credentials and being escorted out by security.
Not all are thrilled with the CMA’s decision, however. Country music star Brad Paisley pushed back against the new guidelines on Twitter late Friday morning, calling them “ridiculous and unfair.”
I'm sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines. In 3…2….1…..
— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) November 3, 2017
His fans appear to have mixed feelings about the news. Some were happy to hear the event will be free of politics.
I disagree with you on that. You are here to entertain not get political. I will not be watching after this remark.
— 💞Southern Girl 💞 (@Southern_4ever) November 3, 2017
Others are accusing the Association of acting like the tragedy didn’t occur and for censoring free speech.
Do they want to pretend this tragedy didn't happen? I have lived in LV my whole life. The pain is real and this response sad!
— Kim Munson (@kimimunson) November 3, 2017
I agree! I know there are some very touchy subjects out there right now but we must remember the 1st amendment and respect it.
— Erica Grimaldi (@ericagrim) November 3, 2017
Earlier this week at a media preview, Paisley, along with his CMA Awards co-host Carrie Underwood, told the Associated Press they are planning to honor the shooting victims’ families during the event but did not disclose how.
The CMA Awards are scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee on November 8 at 5:00 PM PST. Will you be watching?