Maren Morris Says She's Not Sure If She'll Go to the CMA Awards: 'I Don't Feel Comfortable'

·5 min read

Maren Morris may be nominated for the coveted album of the year award at this year's CMA Awards, but whether she'll attend is still up in the air.

Morris, 32, opened up about her mixed feelings in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, and said she often feels "awkward" at such events. This year's ceremony also comes amid a public feud with Brittany Kerr Aldean, the wife of fellow country star Jason Aldean, after Brittany made a transphobic comment on Instagram.

"Honestly, I haven't decided if I'm gonna go," Morris said. "I'm very honored that my record is nominated. But I don't know if I feel [at] home there right now. So many people I love will be in that room, and maybe I'll make a game-time decision and go. But as of right now, I don't feel comfortable going."

She continued: "I think I was more sad going last year. Some nights are fun. Others I'm just crawling out of my skin. I'm not good at those events because I'm awkward. But this time I kind of feel peaceful at the notion of not going."

The discussion of the CMAs comes just weeks after the "Circles Around This Town" singer publicly criticized Brittany, 34, for making a transphobic comment in an Instagram video amid ongoing debate and efforts to restrict access to gender-affirming care.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 07: Maren Morris attends the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards at Allegiant Stadium on March 07, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 07: Maren Morris attends the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards at Allegiant Stadium on March 07, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM)

Jason Kempin/Getty Maren Morris

"I'd really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life," she captioned a makeup reveal video in September.

Morris responded on Twitter: "It's so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie."

The exchange sparked additional back-and-forths between Morris, Brittany and other stars like Cassadee Pope, Lindsay Ell and more, and when Brittany appeared on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show to discuss the situation, Carlson labeled Morris a "Lunatic Country Music Person."

RELATED: Maren Morris, Cassadee Pope Call Out Jason Aldean's Wife for Transphobic Comment: 'Real Nice'

Morris, in turn, stuck the phrase on T-shirts and sold them to fans, ultimately raising more than $150,000 for the Trans Lifeline and GLAAD's Transgender Media Program.

The country star told the LA Times that it was actually Kacey Musgraves who told her about the Carlson segment, as she sent it in a group chat that also includes Brothers Osborne.

"I was like, 'Oh, here we go.' But I thought, 'You know what? This would be really funny on a T-shirt: 'Lunatic country music person,'" she said. "Thank you, Tucker. Was it funny? Sure. But if we can twist it into a charitable cause, let's do it. Then it just exploded."

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 11: Maren Morris attends the 2022 CMT Music Awards at Nashville Municipal Auditorium on April 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for CMT); LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 07: Brittany Kerr attends the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards on March 07, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic); NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 17: Cassadee Pope attends 20th Anniversary Little Kids Rock Benefit at Terminal 5 on May 17, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Little Kids Rock)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 11: Maren Morris attends the 2022 CMT Music Awards at Nashville Municipal Auditorium on April 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for CMT); LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 07: Brittany Kerr attends the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards on March 07, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic); NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 17: Cassadee Pope attends 20th Anniversary Little Kids Rock Benefit at Terminal 5 on May 17, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Little Kids Rock)

Jeff Kravitz/Getty for CMT; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Michael Loccisano/Getty for Little Kids Rock Maren Morris, Brittany Kerr Aldean, Cassadee Pope

Morris told the Times that she'll wear the "lunatic" name as a "badge of honor," and that she does not consider either her or Brittany victims in the situation.

"I don't have feelings of kindness when it comes to humans being made fun of for questioning their identity, especially kids," she said. "The whole 'When they go low, we go high' thing doesn't work with these people. Any resistance movement is not done with kind words. And there's a lot worse things I could've called her [than 'Insurrection Barbie']."

Though the singer said she does not believe she's "lost any fans" amid the drama, as she believes she's been "very clear from the get-go" on her politics, she does take issue with the "insidious culture" that can lurk in the country world.

RELATED: Jason Aldean's Publicity Firm Parts Ways with Him Following Wife Brittany's Transphobic Comments

"I hate feeling like I need to be the hall monitor of treating people like human beings in country music," she said. "It's exhausting. But there's a very insidious culture of people feeling very comfortable being transphobic and homophobic and racist, and that they can wrap it in a joke and no one will ever call them out for it. It just becomes normal for people to behave like that."

She continued: "Friends that aren't in country music, they ask me, "What the hell is going on in Nashville right now with these people?" And I'm always like, "It's fewer than you think." Sometimes I feel like I'm in this abusive relationship and I keep defending it: "It's not all bad!" But sometimes you have to call it out for what it is."

Maren Morris performs on the Mane Stage during the 2022 Stagecoach Festival on April 29, 2022 in Indio, California
Maren Morris performs on the Mane Stage during the 2022 Stagecoach Festival on April 29, 2022 in Indio, California

Timothy Norris/Getty Maren Morris plays Stagecoachon April 29, 2022

Brittany Aldean has since attempted to walk back her comments, and she later shared a photo of herself and husband Jason's sister Kasi Rosa Wicks modeling merch of her own that reads, "Don't Tread on Our Kids."

"Advocating for the genital mutilation of children under the disguise of love and calling it 'gender-affirming care' is one of the worst evils," she wrote in part in an Instagram statement. "Some parents want to be accepted by society so badly, that they're willing to make life-altering decisions for their children who aren't old enough to fully comprehend the consequences of those actions. Love is protecting your child until they are mature enough as an adult to make their own life decisions."

At least 13 U.S. states have signed anti-LGBTQ legislation into law, and another 23 states have introduced such bills in 2022 alone, according to HRC, with many of those laws targeting transgender youth and gender-affirming care.

Last month, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals published an opinion that 1990's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) extends to those suffering from gender dysphoria, a potential landmark ruling that could guarantee access to gender-affirming care.President Joe Biden recently pledged his support to trans citizens during Transgender Day of Visibility in March, and he's continued to urge Congress to pass the long-overdue Equality Act.