Maren Morris has revealed that she will be departing from country music due to the industry’s “homophobia and transphobia.”
The Texan singer has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights within the country music scene since the start of her career. She appeared as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and apologised for country music’s historically poor relationship with its queer fans.
In an interview with Los Angeles Times, Morris discussed her attempts to “burn [county music] to the ground and start over” as a way to make the genre more progressive and inclusive. She reflected on how her attempts haven’t worked and has “chosen to step outside of it”.
“The further you get into the country music business, that’s when you start to see the cracks, and once you see it, you can’t un-see it. So you start doing everything you can with the little power you have to make things better,” she said.
She continued: “After the Trump years, people’s biases were on full display. It just revealed who people really were and that they were proud to be misogynistic and racist and homophobic and transphobic. All these things were being celebrated, and it was weirdly dovetailing with this hyper-masculine branch of country music.”
The country music industry has been full of controversy. Earlier this year, Jason Aldean’s Number One hit ‘Try That In A Small Town’ received major backlash over the song’s true message. The music video and song have left many believing they are promoting racism and gun violence.
Lyrics such as:“You cross that line, it won’t take long/ For you to find out, I recommend you don’t / Try that in a small town,” and “Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that shit might fly in the city, good luck”, left many with raised eyebrows.
The singer also quietly removed Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest footage from the music video for that track.
As reported by TMZ, the video for the country singer’s track is shorter by six seconds compared to its original upload. The short missing clip is footage from a BLM rally in Georgia, which is projected on a Tennessee courthouse where a Black teenager was lynched in 1927. The original clip was shot by Fox 5 Atlanta.
According to Consequence of Sound, Aldean had previously claimed that there wasn’t “a single video clip that isn’t real news footage” within the ‘Try That In A Small Town’ video.
Morris did have a quarrel with Aldean’s wife, Brittany, after she posted comments on her Instagram Stories in 2022 which were condemned as anti-trans.
“Advocating for the genital mutilation of children under the disguise of love and calling it ‘gender-affirming care’ is one of the worst evils. I will always support my children and do what I can to protect their innocence,” Brittany Aldean wrote on her social media.
Morris responded with a tweet that read: “It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie.”
In the Los Angeles Times interview, Morris atributted the “drama within the community” and country music “being used as this really toxic weapon in culture wars” has prompted her to walk away from the industry altogether.
In other news, her latest Ep ‘The Bridge’ saw Morris work with producer and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff who played a pivotal role in helping Taylor Swift transition from country sweetheart into a pop star.