The media guidelines issued warned journalists to avoid any questions pertaining to last month's mass shooting in Las Vegas, gun rights, political affiliations or "topics of the like."
The initial message from the CMA claimed that the guidelines were created to make "everyone feel comfortable talking to the press," and they were accompanied by the threat: "If you are reported as straying from these guidelines, your credential will be reviewed and potentially revoked via security escort."
The awards show's scheduled co-host Brad Paisley took to Twitter to voice his concern about the infringement on media freedom.
I'm sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines. In 3...2....1.....— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) November 3, 2017
A number of other musicians have also slammed organizers about the strict media guidelines. See a selection of those reactions below.
Approved topics:— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) November 3, 2017
-Repurposed barn wood
-Cussin' at snakes
-Chewin on dirt clogs
And people wonder why I'm not invited.... 🤔😏 https://t.co/wY83lUkeC3— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) November 2, 2017
Country music has always been about the truth. Out of respect for the Las Vegas victims, let's keep it that way.— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) November 3, 2017
Until you are the one being treated unfairly, that's easy to say https://t.co/ZxjZHMKcJ5— Jason IsBOO (@JasonIsbell) November 3, 2017
Following the fast and furious backlash, the CMA has apologized and announced that the media restrictions will be lifted. The CMA's statement reads:
CMA Apologizes for the recently distributed restrictions in the CMA Awards media guidelines, which have since been lifted. The sentiment was not to infringe and was created with the best intentions to honour and celebrate country music.
The awards show will air next Wednesday (November 8).