Kacey Musgraves is not tolerating “white male bullshit.” Can we get a “hear, hear”? The singer (and six-time Grammy winner, might we add) just called out country radio for not giving women artists equal play on the airwaves in the most blunt and matter-of-fact way, and we’re cheering her on so loudly.
Musgraves is known for her candor and general badassery, so it’s no surprise that she’s calling out the major problem with country radio. What is a surprise, is that after years of conversation about equal play, country radio stations are still not listening. Even Jennifer Nettles stepping onto the CMAs red carpet in a dress that read point-blank, “Play our f*@#in records, please and thank you,” hasn’t changed their course of action.
More than just not listening, country radio stations are explicitly admitting to their wrongdoings, which gives us the feeling that they don’t see them as wrong. We’d say a big ol’ “WTF” is justified here.
Today, January 16th, country radio station 98 KCQ responded to a tweet from Variety Features Editor Chris Willman (jokingly, we assume) questioning a different station (105.1 country) playing two women artists’ songs back-to-back.
Willman tweeted, “I turned on the 105.1 country station in L.A. just now, and they were playing the new song by Gabby Barrett, and then, without any pause or interruption at all, they went into a Kelsea Ballerini song. Can’t they get fined for that?”
I turned on the 105.1 country station in L.A. just now, and they were playing the new song by Gabby Barrett, and then, without any pause or interruption at all, they went into a Kelsea Ballerini song. Can’t they get fined for that?— Chris Willman (@ChrisWillman) January 15, 2020
98 KCQ responded to William in a since-deleted tweet saying,
Needless to say, this is so messed up. The fact that 98 KCQ felt the need to comment on William’ questioning of another station means that this issue is prevalent and indeed an intentional decision made by radio stations.
Country music stars Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini were not having it. Musgraves had a matter-of-fact response, tweeting, “Smells like white male bullshit and why LONG ago I decided they cannot stop me.”
Smells like white male bullshit and why LONG ago I decided they cannot stop me. ✌🏼 https://t.co/Ln6461sICt— K A C E Y M U S G R A V E S (@KaceyMusgraves) January 16, 2020
But her clapback didn’t end there. Musgraves reiterated her point by saying “And yet, they can play 18 dudes who sound exactly the same back to back. Makes total sense.”
And yet, they can play 18 dudes who sound exactly the same back to back. Makes total sense.— K A C E Y M U S G R A V E S (@KaceyMusgraves) January 16, 2020
Fellow country singer Kelsea Ballerini spoke out about the lack of diversity on country radio with an apology to all women artists who have experienced this unfairness:
To all the ladies that bust their asses to have half the opportunities that men do, I’m really sorry that in 2020, after YEARS of conversation of equal play, there are still some companies that make their stations play by these rules. It’s unfair and it’s incredibly disappointing https://t.co/95CtnVLlHh— Kelsea Ballerini (@KelseaBallerini) January 16, 2020
Disappointing is an understatement.
It’s 2020. Are companies really still not only allowing, but encouraging such blatant gender discrimination to happen?
Although we’ve seen women artists get major recognition with this year’s Grammy nominations, country music is still far behind when it comes to diversity. Catch up, people—this is ridiculous. We applaud Musgraves, Ballerini, Nettles, and everyone else speaking out about this issue, because unfortunately, it seems like it’s going to take a lot for this discrimination to end.