Less than 24-hours after he was appointed to the board of the CMA Foundation (the philanthropic wing of the Country Music Association), Mike Huckabee has handed in his resignation.
When it was announced that the former Arkansas governor and current radio host would be joining the board, it kicked off a firestorm of outrage in the country music community. “Basically, every gay man in town is furious,” an artist manager said upon hearing of Huckabee’s appointment, according to Variety.
Of course, Huckabee sees the backlash as coming from industry liberals who want bully an organization into caving to their will.
“I genuinely regret that some in the industry were so outraged by my appointment that they bullied the CMA and the Foundation with economic threats and vowed to withhold support for the programs for students if I remained,” Huckabee wrote on his website.
Among the outraged CMA members and fans was co-president of Monument Records and owner of Sandbox Entertainment Jason Owen. Owen, who is openly gay, sent a letter to the foundation saying Huckabee’s appointment meant he and his clients would “no longer support the CMA Foundation in any way.”
“[Huckabee] has made it clear that my family is not welcome in his America,” Owen wrote. “And the CMA has opened their arms to him, making him feel welcome and relevant. Huckabee speaks of the sort of things that would suggest my family is morally beneath his and uses language that has a profoundly negative impact upon young people all across this country. Not to mention how harmful and damaging his deep involvement with the NRA is. What a shameful choice.”
Super DUPER pleased that Mike Huckabee has been ejected from the CMA board but I feel like it's worth taking a long hard look at how the heck we are in a place where it was OK to put a bigot on there in the first place. Let's have that convo now, tomorrow and next week too.
— Marissa R. Moss (@MarissaRMoss) March 1, 2018
Mike Huckabee being forced to quickly resign from the Country Music Association Foundation shows that the country is getting more progressive as the Republican Party gets more extreme.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) March 1, 2018
Soon after, more angry letters flooded in.
The indignation targeting Huckabee isn’t without merit. In the past, he’s likened gay marriage to incest. He was also a huge supporter of Kim Davis, who used her government job to deny gay couples marriage licenses. He’s also opposed increased finding for HIV/AIDS research, saying that celebrities should put up the funds instead. He’s even suggested that HIV/AIDS patients be isolated from the general public.
But according to Huckabee, he’s the victim.
“The message here is ‘Hate Wins,'” he wrote. “Bullies succeeded in making it untenable to have ‘someone like me’ involved. I would imagine however that many of the people who buy tickets and music are not that ‘unlike me.’”
This isn’t the first time the CMA has gotten into political trouble. After the massacre at the Route 91 music festival in Las Vegas, the organization warned reporters not to question country music stars about their views on gun control. After getting called out by CMA Awards host Brad Paisley, they walked back the restrictions.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr