The Country Music Association has lifted its controversial restrictions on the media at next week's CMA Awards, following widespread criticism.
"CMA apologizes for the recently distributed restrictions in the CMA Awards media guidelines, which have since been lifted," the organization announced in a press release Friday. The sentiment was not to infringe and was created with the best of intentions to honor and celebrate Country Music."
The CMA had previously asked media outlets to avoid questions about the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, gun rights or political affiliations at the awards show, or risk losing their credentials and being escorted by security off the premises.
Among the policy's many critics was Brad Paisley, who has co-hosted the show for the last decade.
"I'm sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines," Paisley wrote on Twitter on Friday. "In 3...2....1....."
I'm sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines. In 3...2....1.....— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) November 3, 2017
Paisley praised the organization once they reversed the policy, tweeting, "Bravo CMA awards for doing the right thing (and) apologizing for this mistake. All are welcome, let's have a great show."
Bravo CMA awards for doing the right thing & apologizing for this mistake. All are welcome, let's have a great show.— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) November 3, 2017
In their original media guidelines, 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."
After Paisley's tweet, other prominent artists chimed in, including previous CMA winner Maren Morris.
"Country music has always been about the truth," she tweeted. "Out of respect for the Las Vegas victims, let’s keep it that way."
The section of the CMA’s guidelines was first noticed Thursday by The Nashville Scene, and within hours, dozens of industry members and artists were sharing their reactions. The critics included a previous CMA nominee, Will Hoge.
On Twitter, Hoge said the CMA “should be ashamed of this. As should every journalist, artist, and writer involved in the show.”
Famed singer-songwriter Ryan Adams also chimed in, tweeting a sarcastic list of approved topics for the press, including "bacon" and "cussin' at snakes."
Approved topics:— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) November 3, 2017
-Repurposed barn wood
-Cussin' at snakes
-Chewin on dirt clogs
The 51st annual CMA Awards takes place Wednesday, November 8 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
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