Mike Huckabee was forced on Thursday to resign from the CMA Foundation board of directors after country music stars and fans raised holy hell about his anti-LGBT views.
On Wednesday, Mike Huckabee was named to the board of directors for the Country Music Association’s Foundation. But, after massive backlash to his appointment, Huckabee was forced to resign his position less than 24 hours later.
Amber Williams, the CMA vice president of communications and talent relations, said on Thursday,
“The CMA Foundation has accepted former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s resignation from its board of directors, effective immediately.”
After Huckabee’s appointment, members of the country music industry, along with their fans, went crazy. Most of the criticism was focused on Huckabee’s views on LGBT issues.
“Jason Owen, co-president of Monument Records and owner at Sandbox Entertainment, called the appointment a “grossly offensive decision” in an email to the association’s CEO Sarah Trahern and CMA Foundation executive Tiffany Kerns. “
“Owen wrote that due to Huckabee’s election to the CMA Foundation’s board, neither his companies, nor anyone they represent would continue to support the foundation.”
Owen is a proud gay man. And he and his husband are parents to a little boy and are expecting twins. Owen said that Huckabee’s beliefs on gay issues “made it clear my family is not welcome in his America.” “The CMA has opened their arms to him, making him feel welcome and relevant,” Owen said.
“Huckabee speaks of the sort of things that would suggest my family is morally beneath his and uses language that has a profoundly negative impact upon young people all across this country,” he added. “Not to mention how harmful and damaging his deep involvement with the NRA is. What a shameful choice.”
Huckabee has said many despicable things about the LGBT community over the years. In 2010, he compared gay marriage to incest, polygamy, and drug use. And he said that he was opposed to gay couples adopting children because, “children are not puppies.”
The manager for Sugarland’s Kristian Bush, Whitney Pastorek, who is also a member of the CMA, wrote to the organization about her disgust with Huckabee’s appointment.
“What a terrible disappointment to see (the CMA Foundation’s) mission clouded by the decision to align with someone who so frequently engages in the language of racism, sexism, and bigotry,” Pastorek wrote. “While Gov. Huckabee’s tenure in Arkansas may have resulted in valuable education reform over a decade ago, I find his choice to spend the past ten years profiting off messages of exclusion and hatred (not to mention the gun lobby) to be disqualifying.”
And the fans were pissed too.
Many country music fans took to social media to express their outrage. And many threatened to boycott the CMA and country music if Huckabee wasn’t removed immediately.
One CMA board member tried to defend Huckabee’s appointment, saying that he was chosen because of his political career.
“Gov. Huckabee led an impressive administration while serving the state of Arkansas and his policy experience with education reform is something we are fortunate to be able to learn from,” Joe Galante said.
The Tennessean also notes,
“This week’s episode comes four months after the association came under fire for its media guidelines at the annual CMA Awards. The CMA had previously asked media outlets to avoid questions about the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, gun rights or political affiliations at the awards show, or risk losing their credentials and being escorted by security off the premises.”
“After a backlash that included criticism from awards show co-host Brad Paisley, the CMA issued an apology and removed the restrictions ahead of the show.”