Maren Morris has no regrets calling Jason and Brittany Aldean on social media – but that doesn’t mean she wants to sit next to them at an awards show.
Morris, 32, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about her online feud with the conservative couple, about transphobic comments they’ve made and how it fits into a larger picture of what country music stands for right now. Morris said she’s undecided about attending the Country Music Awards on Nov. 9, where humble questionst is nominated for Album of the Year.
“I am very honored that my record is nominated. But I don’t know if I feel [at] home there now. So many people I love will be in this room, and maybe I’ll make a decision at game time and leave. But right now I’m not comfortable with it,” Morris explained, adding, “I feel kind of peaceful about the idea of not going.”
Morris and singer Cassadee Pope fell out with Brittany after an Aug. 23 post that read, “I really want to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I was going through my tomboy phase. I love this girl life.” (Jason commented on the post, “Lmao!! I’m glad they didn’t because you and I wouldn’t have worked out.)
“The Bones” singer told that Times She didn’t complete anyone’s message before hitting send.
“I just shot it. I hate feeling like I have to be the floor monitor that treats people like people in country music. It’s exhausting,” Morris shared. “But there’s a very insidious culture of people who are very comfortable with being transphobic, homophobic and racist and that they can put it in a joke and no one will ever blame them for it. It’s just becoming normal for people to behave this way. “
Related video: Maren Morris and Cassadee Pope call Brittany Aldean over controversial post
The fact that Morris called Brittany “Insurrection Barbie” lit up social media, a nickname the singer is behind.
“Well, it’s sort of true, because the whole January 6 conspiracy theory that’s been peddling, they totally participated,” Morris said of the Aldeans. “Look, I’m not a victim and neither are you. But I have no feelings of kindness when it comes to people making fun of people for questioning their identity, especially children. The whole ‘if they go down, we go high’ thing doesn’t work with these people. Every resistance movement is not ended with kind words. And there are far worse things I could have called them.”
Morris, who shares a 2-year-old son with husband Ryan Hurd, said she felt the need to respond to Brittany because of “the culture of misinformation that comes with transgender youth.”
“This whole thing got so ugly so quickly because the worst thing they can say to me is, ‘Oh, you must be a groomer then.’ That’s literally her favorite word. I have a son, and I think all of us — especially any parent — we’re just trying to do our best and look after our kids and make sure they’re happy,” Morris continued. “You don’t know if one day they’ll come home in tears because they’re not comfortable in their body. Make a joke out of it. Suicide rates are so high because of hateful cops like that. I don’t care if there’s a.” Joke is. But they don’t want to talk about that part because it’s too real.
Morris doesn’t think she lost any fans as a result of the ordeal. (hey, these Tucker Carlson-inspired shirts raised more than $150,000 for Trans Lifeline and GLAAD’s transgender media program.)
“I was very clear from the start. It sucks when artists keep calm, keep calm, keep calm, and then they finally reach breaking point and have to say something because something is so unfair or gross. And then they lose half their amount because they stayed calm. I’m trying to say this to my husband because he’s still building: let people know where you stand,” Morris shared. “Those who don’t get it will fall away, but those who stick with you, will know what they are contributing to.”
Jason, who hadn’t discussed politics for years before, ditched that rule. He is a vocal critic of President Joe Biden. Morris said that was “his prerogative”.
“And he probably knows, ‘OK, I’m going to lose my liberal fans,’ if he had any. But those who stay will certainly feel very close to him through all of this,” noted Morris. “And then I kind of have to step back and ask, ‘What am I actually doing? Is it selfish? Is it performative? All the things a neurotic will think through. But I sleep pretty well at night because I know people in my crowd feel safer.”
Morris said friends who aren’t into country music ask her, “What the hell is going on with these people in Nashville right now?”
“I always say, ‘It’s less than you think.’ Sometimes I feel like I’m in this abusive relationship, and I keep defending it, “It’s not all bad!” But sometimes you have to call it what it is,” she said.
“I think there are people in country music who want it to be niche. You don’t want it to expand. They don’t care about making it more inclusive whatsoever,” Morris continued. “That’s sad for me because I feel like at its core, country music is people’s true stories. And to believe that there’s only one type of person who can live it out and celebrate it isn’t why I chose to live there or make music within those walls.”
Brandi Carlile recently told Morris how it feels like “there are two country musics.”
“I don’t know, it should have been heartbreaking to hear that. But I was really relieved and encouraged to hear it. It made me feel, OK, country music at this mainstream level could absolutely be two things, and I’ve been trying to make it one, and maybe I should stop,” she said. “I don’t know, whether Brandi meant it positively, but I took it that way. It was like a depressurization.”