‘I don’t feel comfortable going’

Maren Morris has no regrets about calling out Jason and Brittany Aldean onsocial media — but that doesn’t mean she wants to sit next to them at anawards show.

Morris, 32, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about her online feud with theconservative couple over transphobic comments they made, and how it fits intoa bigger picture of what country music stands for right now. Morris said she’sundecided whether she’ll attend the Country Music Awards on Nov. 9 where_Humble Ques_ t was nominated for Album of the Year.

“I’m very honored that my record is nominated. But I don’t know if I feel [at]home there right now. So many people I love will be in that room, and maybeI’ll make a game-time decision and go. But as of right now, I don’t feelcomfortable going,” Morris explained, adding, “I kind of feel peaceful at thenotion of not going.”

Morris and singer Cassadee Pope sparred with Brittany after an Aug. 23 postthat read: “I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my genderwhen I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life.” (Jason commentedon the post, “Lmao!! Im glad they didn’t too, cause you and I wouldn’t haveworked out.”)

“The Bones” singer told the times she didn’t run the message by anyonebefore hitting send.

“I just shot it off. I hate feeling like I need to be the hall monitor oftreating people like human beings in country music. It’s exhausting,” Morrisshared. “But there’s a very insidious culture of people feeling verycomfortable being transphobic and homophobic and racist, and that they canwrap it in a joke and no one will ever call them out for it. It just becomesnormal for people to behave like that. “

Related video: Maren Morris and Cassadee Pope call out Brittany Aldean overcontroversial post

The fact Morris dubbed Brittany “Insurrection Barbie” lit up social media, anickname the singer stands behind.

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“Well, it’s kind of true, because the whole conspiracy theory peddling of Jan.6, they totally partook in that,” Morris said of the Aldeans. “Look, I’m not avictim in this and neither is she. But I don’t have feelings of kindness whenit comes to humans being made fun of for questioning their identity,especially kids. The whole ‘When they go low, we go high’ thing doesn’t workwith these people. Any resistance movement is not done with kind words. Andthere’s a lot worse things I could’ve called her.”

Morris, who shares a 2-year-old son with husband Ryan Hurd, said she felt theneed to reply to Brittany due to “the culture of misinformation that goesalong with trans youth.”

“This whole thing got so ugly so fast because the worst they can say to me is,’Oh, you must be a groomer then.’ That’s literally their favorite word. I havea son, and I think we’re all — especially all parents — we’re just trying todo our best and take care of our kids and make sure they’re happy,” Morriscontinued. “You don’t know if one day they’re gonna come home in tears becausethey don’t feel right in their body. And it’s just so sty for the parentsthat are going through that right now to make a joke out of it. Suicide ratesare so high because of hateful bulls like that. I don’t care if it’s ajoke. But they don’t want to talk about that part because it’s too real.”

Morris doesn’t believe she lost any fans over the Ordeal. (Hey, those TuckerCarlson inspired shirts have raised more than $150,000 for Trans Lifeline andGLAAD’s Transgender Media Program.)

“I’ve been very clear from the get-go. It sucks when artists stay quiet, stayquiet, stay quiet, and then they finally reach their breaking point and haveto say something because something is so unjust or disgusting. And then theylose half their crowd because they stayed quiet. I try to tell my husbandthis, because he’s still building: Let people know where you stand,” Morrisshared. “The ones who don’t get it will fall away, but the ones that stickwith you will know what they’re contributing to.”

Jason, who previously wouldn’t talk politics for years, threw that rule outthe window. He’s a vocal critic of President Joe Biden. Morris said that’s”his prerogative.”

“And he probably knows, ‘OK, I’m gonna lose my liberal fans,’ if he had any.But the ones that stay I’m sure feel extremely close to him through all this,”Morris noted. “And that’s when I kind of have to take a step back and be like,What am I actually doing? Is it self-serving? Is it performative? All thethings a neurotic will think through. But I sleep pretty good at night knowingthat people feel safer in my crowd.”

Morris said friends who aren’t in country music ask her, “What the hell isgoing on in Nashville right now with these people?”

“I’m always like, ‘It’s fewer than you think.’ Sometimes I feel like I’m inthis abusive relationship and I keep defending it: ‘It’s not all bad!’ Butsometimes you have to call it out for what it is,” she said.

“I think there are people in country music that want it to be niche. Theydon’t want it to expand. They don’t care about it becoming more inclusive.It’s theirs, and everyone else is an other, or woke, or whatever,” Morriscontinued. “That’s sad to me, because I feel like country music at its core ispeople’s real stories. And to think there’s only one kind of person that getsto live them out and celebrate them is not why I’ve chosen to live there ormake music within those walls.”

Brandi Carlile recently told Morris how it feels like “there are two countrymusics.”

“I don’t know, it should have been heartbreaking to hear that. But I wasactually really relieved and encouraged to hear it. It made me feel like, OK,country music on this mainstream level absolutely could be two things, and I’ve been trying to make it one, and maybe I should stop,” she said. “I don’tknow if Brandi meant it to be a positive, but I took it as one. It was like apressure release.”