The CMA Awards are set to air on ABC on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. Before the event, the CMA Awards issued a statement in which they said that the show would be a "no drama zone," which fans meant to mean that there will be no discussions of any hot-button topics such as the election or the Black Lives Matter movement. In light of the criticism that the organization received, they have since released another statement in which they wrote that the artists who will be a part of the event would be allowed to "express themselves."
On Nov. 4, the CMA Awards posted a message on social media in which they shared that the ceremony will contain "no drama, just music." The post read, "It's been a year, y'all. But for three hours next Wednesday on ABC, this is a no drama zone. More than 20 one-of-a-kind performances will help you forget the weight of the world for just a little while." While the CMA Awards did not mention exactly what that "drama" referred to, many on social media wrote that it was seemingly about the several major events going on in the world right now. Not only are the CMA Awards taking place one week after the election between former Vice President (and, now, president-elect) Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, but it is also taking place amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a result, many people didn't take kindly to the organization's message, with some saying that their reference to "drama" only serves to downplay those serious matters.
I’m all for music & awards as escapism & we certainly need that sometimes. But this seems like, once again, CMA prewarning folks not to talk about the election or BLM (which, by the way, is not “drama” but rather democracy and justice).— Marissa R. Moss (@MarissaRMoss) November 5, 2020
Stop hiding from “drama,” country music. pic.twitter.com/Fz5hSoFbc4
A day after they posted the message to social media, the CMA Awards released a follow-up statement in which they stressed that the artists are free to "express themselves" during the ceremony in any manner that they wish to, as USA Today reported. They said, "While our intentions with our social campaign was to communicate to our fans that the show will offer a brief escape, we recognize that our phrasing did not convey that message. We welcome every artist's right to express themselves."