Co-host Brad Paisley speaks out against CMA Awards’ approach to covering Las Vegas shooting Getty Images/Rick Diamond
Getty Images/Rick Diamond

UPDATED: CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley is calling out the Country Music Association’s guidelines to the media restricting the press from asking artists questions about the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Media approved to cover the CMA Awards on Nov. 8 in Nashville were given written instructions on Nov. 2 in which they were told to avoid asking about the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 58 country fans at the Route 91 Harvest Festival and injured hundreds more. There were also restrictions about asking about “gun rights, political affiliations, or topics of the like.”

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While in the middle of rehearsals for the CMA Awards broadcast, Brad tweeted, “I’m sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines. In 3…2…1…”

CMA Awards nominee Maren Morris agreed, tweeting, “Country music has always been about the truth. Out of respect for the Las Vegas victims, let’s keep it that way.”

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The guidelines went on to say that anyone who asked about the specified topics on the show’s red carpet or in the backstage media room could have their credentials revoked and could be removed from the venue by a security escort.

Less than two hours after Brad’s tweet went up, the CMA issued revised guidelines lifting its earlier restrictions. The organization also apologized, saying, “The sentiment was not to infringe and was created with the best of intentions to honor and celebrate country music.”

Brad followed up his earlier tweet thanking the CMA for rescinding the guidelines.

The initial guidelines seemed at odds with Brad’s earlier statement to “Rolling Stone” saying he and co-host Carrie Underwood planned to address the Las Vegas shooting head-on.

He said, “We’re not going to ignore it, but we’re not going to also dwell on that. We have to make sure we honor those we’ve lost, but we also [have to] celebrate this music, which lives on, and do a good job having the heart we need to have on that night. And also the theme of the show this year is very much about unity and coming together as a format.”

This Brad Paisley performance of “This Is Country Music” from ‘The 44th Annual CMA Awards” seems really appropriate right about now. Country music has always faced the hardships and challenges of life head-on. Hopefully, we can honor those country fans who lost their lives, sustained lifelong injuries or lost loved ones in Las Vegas as we also celebrate country music’s biggest night.

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