Country music star Maren Morris is nominated for album of the year at the upcoming CMA Awards, but right now she wouldn’t feel “comfortable” attending the November ceremony.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published Tuesday, Morris discussed her recent dispute with Brittany and Jason Aldean over comments they made on Instagram about young people receiving gender-affirming care that Morris criticized as transphobic.
“I’m very honored that my record is nominated,” Morris said of her CMA nomination. “But I don’t know if I feel [at] home there right now. So many people I love will be in that room, and maybe I’ll make a game-time decision and go. But as of right now, I don’t feel comfortable going.”
Morris described feeling a need to stand against bigotry in the country music community.
“I hate feeling like I need to be the hall monitor of treating people like human beings in country music,” Morris told the publication. “It’s exhausting.
But there’s a very insidious culture of people feeling very comfortable being transphobic and homophobic and racist, and that they can wrap it in a joke and no one will ever call them out for it. It just becomes normal for people to behave like that.”
Morris has recently come under fire by some conservatives for speaking out against transphobia, with Fox News host Tucker Carlson calling her a “lunatic country music person.”
The singer has since partnered with the LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD and Trans Lifeline to release a shirt emblazoned with the phrase to raise money for organizations supporting transgender youth. The effort has raised more than $150,000 so far.
She also plans to continue to speak her mind.
“I don’t think I lost any fans over this,” Morris said. “I’ve been very clear from the get-go. It sucks when artists stay quiet, stay quiet, stay quiet, and then they finally reach their breaking point and have to say something because something is so unjust or disgusting.
And then they lose half their crowd because they stayed quiet. I try to tell my husband this, because he’s still building [his own music career]: Let people know where you stand.
The ones who don’t get it will fall away, but the ones that stick with you will know what they’re contributing to.”