John Rich says conservative country artists afraid to speak out due to 'cancel culture'
Country music singer-songwriter John Rich has said the “very liberal” majority in the country music industry is pushing leftist ideology publicly despite the fact that the audience “probably leans conservative”. Rich said the “threat of cancellation” keeps conservative-leaning artists from speaking out.
Rich has been a supporter of former President Donald Trump for some time. Big & Rich, his duo musical act with William Kenneth Alphin (Big Kenny), performed at a pre-inaugural ceremony on January 19, 2017, after Trump's victory.
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Speaking with Breitbart News, the country singer said, “The industry of country [music] is, I would say, I can’t give you a percentage but let’s just say the majority is very liberal. They’ve been that way for a long time. It’s interesting that the industry that puts out country music doesn’t really align with a lot of the audience. A lot of folks that listen to country [music], and again I can’t give you a percentage but I can tell you a majority of the audience probably leans conservative. So you’ve got this gulf, kind of, between the two.”
“Over the years,” he said, “the industry has never really come out really strongly about their liberal edge that they’ve got until recently, maybe in the past six to 12 months. They’ve started coming out more and more and the problem you get is if you’ve got artists that are conservative but their record label, their publicist, their manager, a lot of the radio stations are being overseen by liberals.”
“We used to be able to make music and get it played and still say what we wanted to say and still get our music played but that’s not really the case now,” he said, adding that other conservative voices in the industry don’t speak out because “they still want to get their records played and they still want to be invited to the award show and get the big tours and those kinds of things so is it cancel culture? No, because they’re not even stepping forward to be canceled. So it’s actually a step deeper than cancel -- it’s the threat of cancellation that keeps them from saying anything in the first place.”
Rich said the left has been “bolstered” because “they’ve seen everybody from Donald Trump on down kicked off of social media.” He said, “They see that the powers that be in tech and in media are on the left, so they’ve got them on their side, so that emboldens them to step forward and go, ‘Well, there’s really nothing anybody can do about it so, we’re just going to step on out here and just do it. We’re just going to make our purpose be the fact and this is going to play out like we want it to play out, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks because we’ve got all then power on our side'. And guess what? They do have that power on their side.”
Rich has also tweeted about this. In a tweet last month, the country musician wrote, "There are many conservative country music singers that just won't say anything to push back against the ideologies that aim to erase what they care about. Why? You know why. I hope soon we see them start to speak up. The country music industry is out of touch with the audience."
There are many conservative country music singers that just won't say anything to push back against the ideologies that aim to erase what they care about. Why? You know why. I hope soon we see them start to speak up. The country music industry is out of touch with the audience.— John Rich (@johnrich) June 10, 2021
Rich also said during the Breitbart interview that the left had been “smart and successful at becoming interwoven,” with all the different platforms interconnected in tech in media. “So if they want to corral you or a certain group, they can do it. … We do not,” he said. “We don’t have any bases covered at this point. We’re playing catch up and now you’re seeing the results of it.”