Country Music Awards hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood poked fun at President Trump during the 51st annual awards show on November 8 (video below).
The duo started the show wearing eclipse sunglasses, referring to the time Trump ditched a pair to look directly at the August solar eclipse, reports the Daily Mail.
Afterwards, the stars sang a rendition of Underwood’s hit 2005 song “Before He Cheats”, but re-written to mock Trump.
“Right now he’s probably in his PJs, watching cable news, reaching for his cell phone,” Paisley sung, before Underwood joined in with “It’s fun to watch it that’s for sure, ’til little “Rocket Man” starts a nuclear war, Maybe next time he’ll think before he tweets.”
The duo’s antics came despite a memo the Country Music Association [CMA] sent to the media prior to the show requesting avoiding covering “the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like”, reports the Nashville Scene.
According to ABC News, Paisley quickly publicly condemned CMA’s memo. While the media was careful in their coverage, the hosts were clearly anything but.
The two warned they would pull off such jokes ahead of time despite CMA’s desire to make the show apolitical, stressing they weren’t making political statements.
“We’ve always said that we want to make fun of things that are funny,” Underwood said before the show. “It’s not about any political party or any person or any anything. It’s just about making fun of things that are funny.”
Nevertheless, their jokes still offended many. Some were so upset, they even turned off the show in protest.
“Well even the #cmaawards has to open up by mocking the President.” wrote one person on Twitter. “Time to find something else to watch that won’t involve politics.”
“So very disappointing that the CMAs brought politics to the show.” added another under the Daily Mail’s comments section. “I won’t watch again, nor support you with my money.”
However, others defended the hosts.
“Mocking?” shot back somebody else. “Hardly. It was all in fun and it was funny, unlike the nonsense you see out of the idiots in Hollywood. There was nothing mean spirited about it.”
“That was a tasteful and funny satirical performance!” added another. “Nothing wrong at all!”
Some even strongly praised the hosts for their antics.
“Suddenly I like country music especially Brad and Carrie.” exclaimed one.. “You know things are bad for the Orange buffoon when country stars start hating on him. Must say I did not see this coming!”
“Happy to see Country Music artist speaking out about this vile, atrocious administration!” commented another. Country music fans are the ones hurt the most by these awful policies handed out by orangina! Impeachment coming soon!”