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Huckabee resigns from Country Music Board after complaints about his anti-gay views

Huckabee resigns from Country Music Board after complaints about his anti-gay views

Mike Huckabee

Republican Mike Huckabee joined the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation board of directors on Wednesday.

He stepped down just a day later after a number of artists voiced concerns about his political beliefs and views.

Huckabee is a former Governor of Arkansas (1996-2007). He stood as a Presidential candidate in the Republican primaries in 2008 and 2016. He has repeatedly spoken out against LGBTI rights and against gun control measures.

The Country Music Association formed in 1958 and is one of the most powerful and influential bodies in country music. The CMA Foundation is its philanthropic arm.

Huckabee’s appointment was announced Wednesday by CMA chairman The foundation’s chairman Joe Galante.

Jason Owen and Sandbox

One of the most prominent people to complain was Jason Owen, who leads Sandbox Entertainment. The management company represents Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Midland and others.

Musicrow printed a copy of the letter Owen, who is gay, married and a parent, sent to the CMA Foundation.

In it, he says:

‘It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know moving forward, Sandbox and Monument will no longer support the CMA Foundation in any way (this includes everyone we represent collectively) considering the heartbreaking news shared today regarding Mike Huckabee appointee/elected to the CMA Foundation.

‘Further, we find it hard to support the organization as a whole as a result. As you may know I have a child and two on the way. This man has made it clear that my family is not welcome in his America. And the CMA has opened their arms to him, making him feel welcome and relevant.

‘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. Not to mention how harmful and damaging his deep involvement with the NRA is.

‘What a shameful choice. I will not participate in any organization that elevates people like this to positions that amplify their sick voices. This was a detrimentally poor choice by the CMA and it’s leaders.

‘I only wish the best for you and I know how hard you work for the foundation but a grossly offensive decision like this only makes your job harder and diminishes the foundation’s purpose.’

Huckabee: ‘Bullies care about themselves than kids needing music’

In his resignation letter, Huckabee talked about growing up ‘dirt poor’ in South Arkansas. However, discovering music had transformed his life and he wanted other kids to have the opportunity to play instruments.

He said: ‘I genuinely regret that some in the industry were so outraged by my appointment that they bullied the CMA and the Foundation with economic threats and vowed to withhold support for the programs for students if I remained.

‘I’m somewhat flattered to be of such consequence when all I thought I was doing was voluntarily serving on a non-profit board without pay in order to (continue) my decades of advocacy for the arts and especially music.’

Huckabee also took to Twitter to say: ‘Got home from 28 hour trip from Taipei that lasted longer than my time on CMA Foundation board. Read my FULL letter of resignation and see that “Hate Wins” and bullies care about themselves than kids needing music.’

Commenting on Huckabee’s resignation, Chad Griffin, President of HRC, said: ‘Mike Huckabee has staked his entire political career on undermining the rights of LGBTQ people and our families.

‘His cynical political attacks and discriminatory views do not represent the diversity of country music, and we thank all of the musicians, industry leaders and fans who spoke out against his appointment to this important role.’

See also

Anti-gay, anti-trans Republican Mike Huckabee drops out of US Presidential race