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 their annual awards show next week or risk losing credentials.
In media guidelines for Wednesday’s 51st annual CMA Awards held in Nashville, 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 Braid 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 hosts made jokes about then-presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, although the political jokes were much gentler than other award shows.
Messages left for CMA reps 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 their recent CMT Artists of the Year show and dedicated the entire night to victims of the shooting.
Still many other country artists have been silent about gun laws in the wake of the shooting.