Maren Morris has thrown her support behind fellow country-music star Adam Mac, who said music festival organizers quizzed him about promoting homosexuality.
Mac, who is gay, was set to headline the Logan County Tobacco and Heritage Festival Grand Finale concert on October 14 in Kentucky. However, he pulled out of the show after receiving a call from one of its organizers.
“This is not the video that I thought I would be making today, but here we are,” Mac began in the clip posted to his social media.
Mac added that the person told him some of the concert’s board members and “some people in town who had questions about what kind of performance I would be putting on.”
“[They] wanted to ensure that I would not be promoting homosexuality or sexuality in a family-friendly environment – I don’t really know what they expected I was gonna do other than just come and put on a hell of a show like we do,” Mac said.
Newsweek contacted the Logan County Tobacco and Heritage Festival by email for comment.
Mac said the person on the phone said people were very upset that a gay person was headlining the festival and threatened to protest at the show.
Mac described the threats as disheartening and, even though he didn’t want to disappoint “the people who need to see me most there in that space” nor “cave and let those [critics] win”, he canceled his appearance at the festival.
A number of country-music artists sent messages of support, including LGBTQ+ supporters Kelsea Ballerini and Morris.
“You are loved. I’m sorry this happened but glad you’re sharing it here,” Morris wrote on Mac’s video.
Morris has long been an active ally of the LGBTQ+ community. She even had a public spat with Jason Aldean’s wife, Brittany Aldean, over comments the latter made about transgender children.
Morris also recently announced she would be moving away from country music due to its role in America’s culture wars. She released the songs “The Tree” and “Get the Hell Out of Here” on September 15 and addressed her decision.
“These two songs are incredibly key to my next step because they express a very righteously angry and liberating phase of my life these last couple of years, but also how my navigation is finally pointing towards the future, whatever that may be or sound like,” Morris said in a statement to coincide with the release of the new songs.
“Honoring where I’ve been and what I’ve achieved in country music, but also freely moving forward,” she added.
Morris later elaborated on her thoughts, saying, “I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over, but it’s burning itself down without my help,” she said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“After the Trump years, people’s biases were on full display,” Morris said. “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. I call it butt rock.”