CMAs Host Brad Paisley Calls Out Award Show Restrictions About Gun Control

Nov 3, 2017 at 5:36 p.m. ET
Image: Jeff Hahne/Getty Images

Brad Paisley wasn't afraid to speak his piece early on Friday when it came to the upcoming 2017 Country Music Awards and the show's press guidelines. The country music singer was among many who felt that the recently issued (and now rescinded) guidelines on whether the press can discuss anything related to guns or gun control at the CMAs were too restrictive.

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When the guidelines were first reported, the one that caught Paisley's attention (as reported by E! News) stated that the "Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like" would be out of bounds for the press. It's understandable that the show's organizers would have this impulse, probably from a desire to keep the tone of the evening's proceedings as light and easygoing as possible.

However, when that news first got out, Paisley immediately aired his feelings on the matter. "I'm sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines. In 3...2....1.....," he wrote on Friday morning.


The tweet must have caught the attention of the CMAs' organizers — perhaps due in part to Paisley's role as co-host of this year's show — as well as outcries from other folks. Within hours, the restriction was lifted.

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In response, Paisley tweeted, "Bravo CMA awards for doing the right thing & apologizing for this mistake. All are welcome, let's have a great show." An easy ending to a somewhat tense morning — but it does send a strong message to everyone watching, attending and participating in the 2017 CMAs.

Paisley's feelings could suggest that there are many in the country music community who are open to discussing gun control and gun violence in America. Following the Las Vegas terror attack, where attendees of a country music concert were specifically targeted, it's understandable that a focus on the events and the community at large would come up again at the CMAs.

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It's good to see Paisley speaking up and making sure we can have an honest discussion about tough subjects, even if it feels like the timing or venue may not be quite right. Of course, we do hope the CMAs are a fun event. But if the topic of gun control does come up, then it's good to know we can talk about it.