Country music icon Carrie Underwood took to the stage on Wednesday evening to host the Country Music Association Awards like she has done many times before. This year, however, she outrightly refused to trash President Donald Trump, as so many entertainers do during awards shows. It wasn’t long before Underwood got some huge news.
On Wednesday evening, a heavily-pregnant Carrie Underwood co-hosted the 52nd annual CMA Awards with fellow country music artist Brad Paisley. The duo has been emceeing the event for many years, but there was something markedly different about last night’s installment; namely, the absence of political jokes.
The CMA Awards celebrated music, positivity, and love in a night that avoided politics. While many awards shows are becoming more about political commentary than celebrating talented entertainers, the CMA Awards chose to take a different route this year.
Co-host Brad Paisley said he felt political jokes aren’t as humorous as they once were. “I’m not gonna touch that. I just don’t find politics funny anymore,” Paisley told Taste of Country. “There was a time when it was. It’s just not funny to me anymore.”
Both Paisley and co-host Carrie Underwood chose to focus on moments that helped unite the viewers and those attending. Country music star Garth Brooks started the night with a tribute to the Thousand Oaks shooting victims. “Let the music unite us with love in their enduring memory,” he said. [Source: IJR]
Viewers took notice, and they were more than appreciative. “First awards show I’ve watched in almost 2 years. No garbage. No politics. Just love and some damn good county music. Well done,” tweeted Kaitlyn Sherry.
First awards show I’ve watched in almost 2 years. No garbage. No politics. Just love and some damn good county music. Well done 👏🏼 #CMAawards
— Kaitlyn Sherry (@SherryKaitlyn) November 15, 2018
“A big shout out to Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood for keeping politics out of the 2018 CMA Awards where Keith Urban was named Entertainer of the Year,” echoed David Burke. “Sometimes people just want to listen to music.”
A big shout out to Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood for keeping politics out of the 2018 CMA Awards where Keith Urban was named Entertainer of the Year. 👏🏼 @BradPaisley @carrieunderwood #CMAawards Sometimes people just want to listen to music. @FoxNews https://t.co/Q6vtWPq6lP
— David Burke (@ConservativeTht) November 15, 2018
“A big SHOUT OUT to the #CMAawards for no mention of politics on their show last night. Kept it light and enjoyable for all, this was real entertainment as it should be, great music with great musicians. Well done and THANK YOU to all!” wrote another Twitter user.
A big SHOUT OUT to the #CMAawards for no mention of politics on their show last night. Kept it light and enjoyable for all, this was real entertainment as it should be, great music with great musicians. Well done and THANK YOU to all! pic.twitter.com/9zVdGUplKz
— Gina❌💯#MAGA🇺🇸 (@GodFirstGina) November 15, 2018
Perhaps Underwood was taking a cue from Reba McEntire, who hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards for the 15th time back in April. She also chose to leave politics out of the evening. Reba was rewarded in a big way when the ratings came in:
It was no contest last night, with the “53rd annual “Academy of Country Music Awards,” hosted by Reba McEntire, holding a significant overnight advantage over competing “American Idol” on ABC. While the true test, of course, are the demographics, “The ACM Awards” at a 7.2 rating/12 share in the household overnights from 8-11 p.m. ET bested ABC’s “American Idol” (4.2/ 7 from 8-10 p.m. ET) by 71 percent. Compared to one year earlier (6.5/11 on 4/02/17), “The ACM Awards” increased by 11 percent. And that 6.5 rating in the household overnights last year translated into 10.85 million viewers and a 2.1 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, based on the Live+Same Day data. [Source: Programming Insider]
This is precisely why people tune in to watch these things — they want to be entertained, not lectured. Music fans want to see their favorite artists perform their favorite songs. It’s an escape, not a chance to push an agenda on a public already sick and tired of partisan talking points.
Hollywood would do well to take a lesson from Nashville on this subject. Carrie Underwood’s policy of avoiding politics at the CMA Awards was a resounding success, and it’s not surprising with the public growing increasingly fed-up with out-of-touch entertainers trying to indoctrinate them at every turn. Country music scored a big win last night when Carrie refused to make her hosting gig a Trump-bashing nightmare.