There’s no meeting in the middle for singer Maren Morris and Brittany Aldean, the wife of country star Jason Alden sparking controversy with recent transphobic comments on social media.
After trading barbs with the conservative couple in recent weeks and brilliantly using a Tucker Carlson insult to raise funds for transgender advocacy groups, Morris is planning on skipping the upcoming Country Music Association Awards.
Despite being nominated for Album of the Year for her latest record “Humble Quest,” the singer shared that she’s unsure “if I feel [at] home” at next month’s ceremony.
“So many people I love will be in that room, and maybe I’ll make a game-time decision and go,” Morris told The Los Angeles Times in an interview published on Monday. “But as of right now, I don’t feel comfortable going.”
“I think I was more sad going last year. Some nights are fun. Others I’m just crawling out of my skin,” she continued. “I’m not good at those events because I’m awkward. But this time I kind of feel peaceful at the notion of not going.”
The clash began after Morris called out Brittany Aldean over an Instagram post that read: “I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life.”
Aldean went on to directly attack transgender youth in a follow-up post, calling gender-affirming health care “one of the worst evils” and decrying the “genital mutilation of children.”
Morris addressed the comments in a now-viral reaction on Twitter: “It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie.”
Morris explained to the LA Times that she “just shot if off” before running her message by anyone.
“I hate feeling like I need to be the hall monitor of treating people like human beings in country music. It’s exhausting,” she said. “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 said she stands behind calling Aldean “Insurrection Barbie” for peddling conspiracy theories after the Jan 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.
“I don’t have feelings of kindness when it comes to humans being made fun of for questioning their identity, especially kids,” Morris explained. “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 shares a 2-year-old daughter with husband Ryan Hurd, said she intended to combat the “culture of misinformation that goes along with trans youth.”
“It’s not, ‘Oh, this is bad, and this is good, and we can agree to disagree.’ No, we can’t, and you are being fed information that is false,” she continued. “Your words matter. Your disinformation matters.”
Citing the backlash The Chicks infamously received for comments about the Iraq War years ago, Morris said “everything got worse” in the country music world after Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
The divide has left Morris, one of the genre’s rising stars, feeling increasingly self-assured in her own musical perspective and simultaneously isolated from many of her peers.
Morris does, however, have heavy hitters in her corner, including Kacey Musgraves and the Brothers Osborne, who she said counseled her through the feud, as well as Brandi Carlile.
“There are people in country music that want it to be niche. They don’t want it to expand,” she said. “They don’t care about it becoming more inclusive. It’s theirs, and everyone else is an other, or woke, or whatever. That’s sad to me, because I feel like country music at its core is people’s real stories.”