There is no love here for any of the Huckabee family. But when the news was first aired this week that Mike Huckabee was named to the CMA there was displeasure wide and deep. No homophobic who stirs hatred and foments divisions in the nation, or has a daughter that lies with a twisted eye from the White House should have a place on the CMA. The pressure against Huckabee built fast and he took the first exit ramp he could find.
Huckabee’s appointment sent instant shockwaves throughout Nashville, one of the few left-leaning cities in a deeply red state, that some in Music City felt showed the country music industry’s reticence to embrace the social movements gaining steam in other parts of the country. Among those speaking up was Jason Owen, head of powerhouse management firm Sandbox Entertainment (whose clients include country artists Little Big Town and Faith Hill) and Monument Records (Walker Hayes), who sent the CMA Foundation a letter Thursday declaring that neither he nor his artists would support the association in any way going forward.
In response to Huckabee’s resignation, singer, songwriter and producer Shane McAnally, who is on the CMA Board, said he was “glad” to hear the news and hopes “this will prevent any further distractions from the work that the CMA Foundation does in our community.”
He continued, “As a member of the CMA Board, I was disheartened to learn that Huckabee was appointed to the position because his beliefs have not been representative of our country music community as a whole, which is made up of dynamic and forward-thinking creatives. The CMA is an organization that acts as an ambassador for our industry, so it is incredibly important that we are diligent in spreading a message that embraces diversity and love. I hope that the CMA will continue to be governed by progressive and empathetic individuals in the future.”