After pressure from multiple women artists in the industry, Country Music Channel, or CMT, announced via Twitter it will give equal airtime to men and women artists during its music video hours. “That means 50/50,” its account posted. The channel’s previous policy (written in ancient stone, we imagine) was 60/40, men to women, according to NPR.
The tweet also ended with “#CMTEqualPlay” but this idea definitely didn’t originate from within the channel, and CMT is only one part of a cross-industry issue. Women in country music, like Jennifer Nettles and Kacey Musgraves, among many others, have been very vocal about the gender disparity across country music radio airtime.
Effective immediately all music video hours on CMT and CMT Music channels will have complete parity between male and female artists. That means 50/50. #CMTEqualPlay— CMT (@CMT) January 21, 2020
At the 2019 Country Music Awards, Nettles had the words “Equal Play” written across the back of her suit, and the front of her train read, “Play our f*@#in records, please and thank you.”
Country radio station 98 KCQ has even outright stated in a since-deleted tweet that they “cannot play two females back to back. Not even Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town against another female.” So the issue of gender disparity in country music is pervasive, and it’s out in the open. CMT’s policy change is a response, but it’s not the full answer.
As we wait for more cross-industry change, we’ll leave you with Musgraves’ blunt, to-the-point response to 98 KCQ’s still-outdated rules.
Smells like white male bullshit and why LONG ago I decided they cannot stop me. ✌🏼 https://t.co/Ln6461sICt— K A C E Y M U S G R A V E S (@KaceyMusgraves) January 16, 2020
Goodbye waves and peace signs to all the “white male bullshit” out there. We’ll be playing 100% women country artists on our personal radios for the rest of the day.