Maren Morris, the Grammy-winning country sensation, has declared her departure from the country music scene due to the prevalent bigotry within the industry, involving both fellow artists and higher-ups. The singer, a staunch supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, recently disclosed in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that “after the Trump years, people’s biases were on full display.”
Morris lamented that this period exposed the true colors of many, showcasing their pride in misogyny, racism, homophobia, and transphobia. She highlighted the unsettling alignment of these prejudices with a hyper-masculine faction of country music. This revelation has had a profound impact on her perception of the genre.
In a genre where advocating for progressive causes often leads to unpopularity, especially among emerging artists, Morris described it as a form of indoctrination that discourages speaking out. She emphasized her disapproval of music being wielded as a “toxic weapon in culture wars,” citing Jason Aldean, a country artist she had previously criticized for making transphobic remarks. Morris pointed to Aldean’s controversial song “Try That in a Small Town” as emblematic of the industry’s last stronghold against progress.
“People are streaming these songs out of spite, not genuine love for the music,” Morris explained. “Music is meant to be the voice of the oppressed—the truly oppressed. Now, it’s being cynically weaponized in culture wars.”
Maren Morris recently released a two-track EP titled “The Bridge,” which delves into her complex emotions surrounding her departure from the country genre. She openly acknowledges feelings of both betrayal and hope but insists that she doesn’t wish to maintain an adversarial relationship with country music.
In closing, Morris stressed the importance of critiquing any influential cultural phenomenon when problems arise, as it is the path to progress. Her decision to step away from the country music scene serves as a significant commentary on the need for change within the industry.