CMA Lifts Media Restrictions

The Country Music Association revoked its guidelines banning media outlets from asking questions related to last month’s Las Vegas mass shooting, gun rights and political affiliations at its annual award show.

CMA Hosts
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, file
– CMA Hosts
Brad Paisley Carrie Underwood at the 49th annual CMA Awards in Nashville, Tenn.

The media guidelines for the Nov. 8 awards ceremony in Nashville previously said reporters who failed to abide by the warning would risk having their credentials revoked.

“CMA apologizes for the recently distributed restrictions in the CMA Awards media guidelines, which have since been lifted. The sentiment was not to infringe and was created with the best of intentions to honor and celebrate County Music.”

Country artists have typically stayed out of political discussion. The genre traditionally leans right, as the National Rifle Association’s lifestyle brand, NRA Country, is partnered with several Nashville artists.

But more country acts have begun to break that tradition since 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured during Jason Aldean’s set at the Rout 91 Harvest festival. 

Margo Price, an independent country artist, tweeted “we need stricter gun control, plain and simple,” after the tragedy.

“More people should be unafraid to speak up,” she told The Washington Post.

Hosts of awards show, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, told reporters Nov. 2 that they wanted to honor the victims of the shooting and their families at the awards show.

Paisley called out CMA’s restrictions the next day, tweeting, “I’m sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines.”