When Michigan radio station WKCQ responded to a tweet by Variety features editor Chris Willman, openly stating they refuse to play two female artists back to back, they likely didn't expect Kelsea Ballerini to get involved. But get involved she did, sharing the exchange on social media, and slamming the station for their openly sexist policy.
I turned on the 105.1 country station in L.A. just now, and they were playing the new song by Gabby Barrett, and then, without any pause or interruption at all, they went into a Kelsea Ballerini song. Can’t they get fined for that?— Chris Willman (@ChrisWillman) January 15, 2020
It started when Willman told WKGC, via Twitter, that while in Los Angeles, he heard Gabby Barrett, followed immediately by Ballerini, asking if they could get fined for that. The radio station responded saying, "We cannot play two females back to back. Not even Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town against another female. I applaud their courage."
Ballerini shared a screenshot of the tweet, writing, "To all the ladies that bust their a––es to have half the opportunities that men do, I'm really sorry that in 2020, after YEARS of conversation of equal play, there are still some companies that make their stations play by these rules. It's unfair and it's incredibly disappointing."
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Ballerini also opened up about the tweet when sharing the screenshot, further expressing her outrage at the unfairness female artists still face.
"I say this having been one of the few women who have been really embraced by country radio and having watched some of the bigger networks (and some of my friends that are [program directors] and high up) make real changes in their programming to make it look more balanced," Ballerini wrote. "I am grateful. BUT. there is still inequality in airplay for women. And tweets like this prove it. And it’s my job to say it out loud and post about it, because of the girls moving to Nashville ( or wherever) that are ready to outrun and outwork and outplay everyone.
"They deserve to know that they have the same shot as the guys moving here to do the same," she continued. "Country music- We have to fix this. For us and for them. How do we do it? Let’s talk. (Also- don’t lash out at this station, they are playing by rules set for them from their higher ups)."
WKQC, who is admittedly, as Ballerini stated, only adhering to rules set before them, responded to Ballerini, saying, "The conversation continues, Kelsea. I am not alone in this. And neither is the music industry. (Oscars). Women deserve their share of the airwaves."
Photo Credit: Getty / Taylor Hill