Country Music Television, or CMT, was originally like the MTV for country fans. However, much like MTV, the music isn’t much of a driving force these days. Instead, they still cater more or less to the same audience, but they include a fair bit of syndicated television, such as old episodes of Reba. Stuff like that.
Unfortunately, they also seemed to forget who their audience actually is.
Country Music Television – along with other networks – urged many to “wear orange” over the weekend as part of a coordinated stance against gun violence.
“We’re (virtually) wearing orange today in support National Gun Violence Awareness Day and to call attention to the more than 100 lives that are lost every day to gun violence,” the ViacomCBS-owned entity tweeted Friday ahead of the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday.
The campaign, citing fatal injury reports data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the years 2015 through 2019, claimed that “Every day more than 100 Americans are killed with guns.” “Wear Orange” is part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s gun control campaign, which is backed by Michael Bloomberg. The effort was met with intense criticism from many on social media.
“This is anti-gun propaganda disguised as virtue,” one campaign detractor tweeted, adding, “CMT has gone down the drain with all other corporations who sell out to the Woke extremists.”
That was far from the only viewer critical of the move. Another argued that CMT lost as much as 75 percent of their viewership, and I don’t know that’s wrong, either.
Now, let’s start off by remembering that country music started going woke right after the Las Vegas shooting. After all, country star Jason Aldean was on stage when that maniac opened fire on the audience. That rattled a lot of artists, and I can certainly understand it. I’m not surprised that some embraced gun control after that, though I am disappointed they did.
Still, CMT appeared to recognize who their audience was. After all, it ran reruns of Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing, the most conservative sitcom in the last few decades. They had to know that kind of thing resonated with their audience, and not just because Allen’s character was the marketing head for a sporting goods store.
And yet, they do this.
Honestly, this was a decidedly off-brand move for the cable network, to say the least. While I don’t know that they’ll lose three-quarters of their viewership, I suspect that’s mostly because a lot of people just didn’t see it. I didn’t, for example. Had I not seen the news story about it earlier today, I’d no doubt still be ignorant that CMT had done such a thing.
I suspect a lot of other viewers missed it, too, which might be the one thing CMT has going for it.
Unfortunately for them, though, this is the 21st Century and we know all kinds of ways to get the word out.
Frankly, CMT needs to remember who actually listens to country music and not worry so much about the woke anti-gunners out there who also turn their noses up at anyone not as sophisticated and urban as them. It’s a smarter business decision to do so, after all, and it’s not like the anti-gunners are going to suddenly take up country music simply because CMT is expressing the right sentiments.
It just goes to show you that you have to be very wary of just who you get your entertainment from.