Media restricted from gun, political questions at CMA Awards event
NASHVILLE, TENN. » The Country Music Association is warning media outlets to avoid questions about a recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, gun rights or political affiliations at its annual awards show next week or risk losing credentials.
In media guidelines for Wednesday’s 51st annual CMAAwards held inNashville, Tennessee, the association said the restrictions were “out of respect for the artists directly or indirectly involved” and they wanted everyone “to feel comfortable talking to press.” Media who strayed from the guidelines could have their credentials “potentially revoked via security escort.”
At a media preview Thursday in New York City with hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, The Associated Press asked the performers about the Vegas shooting. The stars said they want to honor the victims’ families during the show. Last year, the hostsmade jokes about then- presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, although the political jokes were much gentler than other award shows.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Paisley said he knows he’ll have a somber task ahead of him.
“There’s pressure if you don’t handle it right,” the singer said at a recent video game event he hosted with his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, in Nashville. “If you deal with it wrong, there’s an enormous amount of pressure.”
According to Paisley, honoring the 58 festival attendees who died at the Route 91 mass shooting will be a part of the hosts’ responsibilities.
“We’re not going to ignore it, but we’re not going to also dwell on that,” he says. “We have tomake sure we honor those we’ve lost, but we also ( have to) celebrate this music, which lives on, and do a good job having the heart we need to have on that night. And also the theme of the show this year is very much about unity and coming together as a format.”
Messages left for CMA representatives weren’t immediately returned Thursday.
Many country stars have spoken publicly about the shooting to offer condolences or to raise money for victims.
CMT recently decided not to hand out awards during its recent CMT Artists of the Year show and dedicated the entire night to victims of the shooting.
Country superstars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the CMA Awards for the 10th consecutive year. The event will airWednesday on ABC. The Country Music Association is restricting media questions at the event.