After her feud with Brittany Aldean (the wife of country singer Jason Aldean) on social media, Maren Morris is unsure if she will be attending this year’s Country Music Awards.
Morris, who is nominated for Album of the Year at the annual ceremony (which is scheduled to take place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee in early November) for her album Humble Quest, told the Los Angeles Times in an interview that she’s not sure if she’s comfortable going to the show.
"I'm very honored that my record is nominated. 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 told the newspaper. "I kind of feel peaceful at the notion of not going."
In August, Brittany Aldean posted to her social media thanking her parents for "not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase." Morris, as well as fellow country singer Cassadee Pope quickly responded.
"It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie," Morris commented at the time.
"I just shot it off. I hate feeling like I need to be the hall monitor of treating people like human beings in country music. It's exhausting," Morris said of her message to Aldean. "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."
"Look, I'm not a victim in this and neither is she," the singer continued. "But I don't have feelings of kindness when it comes to humans being made fun of for questioning their identity, especially kids. The whole 'When they go low, we go high' thing doesn't work with these people. Any resistance movement is not done with kind words. And there's a lot worse things I could've called her."
Morris, who is herself the mother to a 2-year-old son, said she felt the need to step in to protect trans youth, of which her child could be one day.
"I have a son, and I think we're all — especially all parents — we're just trying to do our best and take care of our kids and make sure they're happy," Morris said. "You don't know if one day they're gonna come home in tears because they don't feel right in their body. And it's just so s***ty for the parents that are going through that right now to make a joke out of it. Suicide rates are so high because of hateful bulls*** like that. I don't care if it's a joke. But they don't want to talk about that part because it's too real."
Morris has turned the whole thing into a positive for trans youth. After she was criticized for her stance by conservative pundit Tucker Carlson, she started selling shirts saying "Maren Morris Lunatic Country Music Person" with the phone number for a Peer Support & Crisis Hotline for queer youth on it. The shirt raised over $100K for the Trans Lifeline and GLAAD in just the first few days.
Jason Aldean is also nominated for one award at the show, Musical Event of the Year, for the song "If I Didn’t Love You" with Carrie Underwood. The CMA Awards take place on November 9.