Why did the CMAs delete Beyonce-related stuff from their social media?

At first, I thought this story was going to be about all of the salty white tears from the Country Music Association, but as the story unfolded throughout the day and evening on Thursday, I don’t think the CMAs are completely (or even partially) to blame. Here’s what we know for sure: Beyonce and the CMAs thought it would be a great idea for Bey to perform “Daddy Lessons” at Wednesday night’s Country Music Awards in Nashville. “Daddy Lessons” is the most “country” song on Bey’s Lemonade, and it was honestly the best performance of the night. Beyonce performed with the Dixie Chicks – who returned to the CMAs after a long absence, following their George W. Bush controversy in 2003 – and it was reportedly the highest-rated and most-watched moment of the CMAs.

The CMA producers should have been beyond pleased that Beyonce deigned to show up at their awards show. They should have been pleased that she and the Dixie Chicks rehearsed like hell and delivered the best-sounding performance of the night. But then people noticed that the official CMA site and the official CMA Twitter had scrubbed any mention of Beyonce, even deleting at least two previously published videos and tweets. TMZ theorized that the Country Music Association was trying to do damage control online after their posts about Beyonce got a lot of racist comments and comments about how Beyonce “hates the police.” TMZ’s sources claimed that the CMA people just wanted the whole mess to “go away” and that they regretted having Bey and the Dixie Chicks perform. But! The New York Times published this:

In an interview, Sarah Trahern, the chief executive of the Country Music Association, acknowledged the strong reactions on both sides but denied that any nefarious deleting had taken place. The initial promotional clip teasing Beyoncé’s performance was removed on Wednesday, before the performance, at the request of the singer, she said. (Representatives for Beyoncé did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

“Beyoncé’s team hadn’t approved that, so we pulled it down,” Ms. Trahern said of the teaser. “Fans can get kind of passionate and read other things into it.”

As for the minimal after-the-fact documentation of the suddenly controversial performance on the show’s social media channels, Ms. Trahern said that Beyoncé, who is known to be vigilant about her image, provided her own photographer — pictures are available at Beyonce.com — and that the singer’s team had only approved one official live video of the song on ABC.com. (After the show, Beyoncé also released an alternate version of “Daddy Lessons” online — “If we all turn this up really loud, together we can drown out the hate,” the Dixie Chicks tweeted — as well as a stand-alone video for the song from her “Lemonade” film.)

“We stand by it,” Ms. Trahern said of Beyoncé’s performance, noting that the C.M.A.s had received not only spirited online comments but phone calls — both positive and negative — from viewers. “If a program moves people so much one way or another, I think we’ve had a successful show. We believe in free speech and people can post what they’re going to post. It’s about the music, not about politics.”

[From The NY Times]

So, while there were definitely some salty white tears being shed in general, the CMA pull-down of Beyonce-related stuff was a combination of factors, like Beyonce’s hyper-vigilant image-maintenance and the CMAs actually trying to protect Beyonce a little bit, I would think. If you were in charge of a music awards show and people online started having racist hissy fits about one of the performers, would you try to protect the talent by deleting those posts? Still, the Beyhive was on top of everything – they were flooding the CMAs’ social media with bee and lemon emojis, because of course.

Also: Beyonce brought her own photographer??? That’s why there are photos of Beyonce in a different dress after the performance, but the photos are only available on Bey’s social media. Think of how crazy her image-control really is, peeps.

Last thing: Beyonce is reportedly going to campaign for Hillary Clinton in Ohio today. She and Jay-Z are doing a concert at Cleveland State University. Good.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Getty.

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51 Responses to “Why did the CMAs delete Beyonce-related stuff from their social media?”

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  1. Donna Martin says:

    So glad she performed. Let the haters hate. At some point people will have to start evolving with all this racist nonsense. At least I hope

  2. Toni says:

    I love Beyonce more than is rational, and also a huge country listener so them performing together about made my heart explode with happiness

  3. notpretentious says:

    You guys I went to that university for one year! So cool that they are performing there. I finished at Georgia State University if anyone cares, lol.

  4. BeBeA says:

    I like Beyoncé, but I now love the Dixie Chicks , NatalieMaines twitter comments about the hate and the performance were too funny lol, cool lady indeed. About to buy their songs just cause!

    • Nicole says:

      Natalie Maines had my heart at 14!

      • iGotNothin says:

        Ditto. I’m still get pissy every time I listen to “Not Ready To Make Nice” and think about the backlash they received for basically doing what everyone else is doing now. Ugh! Natalie Maines was just ahead of her time.

      • Nicole says:

        Yep as I said on the last thread, that song saved my life in really bad times. I still love their first CD.

      • Asiyah says:

        Natalie Maines is awesome! I love her!

      • MC2 says:

        I never, ever liked their music but I love her & the Dixie Chicks. FUTK was the frickin’ best ever. She is good at shade and on the right side of the compass.

  5. Katherine says:

    Couldn’t they just filter out the hateful comments?

    • swak says:

      Then they would be ragged about freedom of speech, y’all! But I agree with you. They could have filtered them out! Was surprised to hear Beyonce was a performer but am glad they are including artists that aren’t strictly country and glad it went so well.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      No one has that kind of time.

  6. chn says:

    My wishes for next year is for the world to stop focusing on the negative, but loud, minority.
    Who cares what a few ignorant people thinks? The greater majority loved it and that’s all that matters.

    • Mike says:

      Very well said. I think we forget sometimes that most people are good and kind because the ugly minority gets so much attention

    • swak says:

      Unfortunately I think this is partly fall out from the election because of all the nastiness that is going on. That minority has been given power to express whatever they want in whatever way they want with no consequences. Not that that is okay to do. I’m thoroughly disgusted with the nastiness that has gone on – both sides.

      • Lacia Can says:

        What has HRC’s side done to promote racial hatred and misogyny? She calls Trump out on things he says. She doesn’t say bad things about poc, women, the disabled … Trump has insulted so many groups I can’t remember them all.

  7. Anna says:

    I am not a fan of her, mostly because of her public persona and the whole Queen Bey thing. But that’s cool that she performed at the CMAs, and OF COURSE people bitched about it. Because people are assholes.

  8. MissMerry says:

    so she basically ‘walked the carpet’ by herself with nobody but her personal photographer…to get photos of a different dress for only her social media pages…

    I can see that as her thinking of herself as higher up than anyone else at the CMA’s…we all know shes crazy about herself and the image that is put out there…but come on…at least pretend to be human beyonce 😉 lol

    I have such a love/ugh relationship with beyonce. She lives in a bubble and it’s fascinating, pretty and kind of disturbing all at the same time.

  9. Christin says:

    I looked at the CMA FB page yesterday, and noticed a lot of comments criticizing not allowing Dolly enough time to give an acceptance speech for a lifetime award. People were claiming the Chicks/Bey performance took time that cut into Dolly’s.

  10. Aang says:

    Not a dance of contemporary country or Beyoncé but this seems like a great collaboration. I’m for anything that makes the racists mad.

  11. Anilehcim says:

    I read this morning that CMA deleted the pictures of Beyonce because of the amount of incredibly hateful, racist comments that were being received… I mean, imperial wizard of the KKK level racist. People were complaining that she was even on the network, referring to her as “cop hating,” the N-word was getting thrown around A LOT, and one comment that I’m still cringing over said “Beyonce is trying to take country music away from hard working white people.” I’m at a loss for words. The south is a scary place. It’s alarming how many people down there still think they’re fighting the Civil War.

    • Jennah says:

      I regret to say it’s not just the south….

    • Nicole says:

      Um, I may be a hippie, but I can say for everyone I know here in the deep south, we do NOT think that.
      Thank you, Jennah.

    • Radley says:

      It’s definitely not just the south. Pennsylvania has been the scariest, redneck-iest place I ever visited. That part that borders W. Virginia. . . yikes!

      There are pockets of the south that are very progressive. Austin, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, etc.

      • Nicole says:

        John Oliver actually pointed this out in a piece on segregation in schools. In the South, it is much better than the Northeast. Not the same of course, but same vein.

  12. Kelly says:

    I grew up loving country music and I have to say: the CMAs should focus solely on highlighting the genre. Before anyone screams at me, that also means not only eliminating performances by Beyoncé and JT, but also the so called pop country that floods the radio. Chris Stapleton was the best part of last years show, I wish with all my heart that they would book more Vince Gill, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson. There are tons of incredible artists making music in Texas…I wish the genre as a whole would move away from catering to the pop crowd.

    All that being said, I’m sure Beyoncé did a fantastic job because she is an incredible performer (I wasn’t watching). I’m ashamed that anyone would use such disgusting language as I’ve seen in some threads and I think it’s pathetic that the CMAs would try to scrub her performance from their sites

    • Grant says:

      My problem isn’t so much with the pervasive amount of pop country (because eliminate pop country and you eliminate most of the female country performers to a certain degree) but with the pervasive amount of “bro country.” There’s no diversity on country radio anymore, and it’s because it’s all some white dude singing about his truck, beer, and his woman dancing around in a pair of painted-on cut-offs.

      • Kelly says:

        Agreed about Bro Country, but there are lots of great female country artists…Sunny Sweeney, Miranda Lambert, Kasey Musgraves, Margo Price, etc. Unfortunately country is relying on a formulaic method of pretty boys in tight jeans singing about tailgates and interchangeable women in skimpy outfits autotuned up the wazoo. They’re going for the quick buck instead of making meaningful music, so all the best artists are independent.

    • Inkblotter says:

      If people (in general) are going to go there then country artists should be removed from the Grammy’s, American Music Awards, (are they still on?) the Billboard Music Awards, and any other award or talent shows where they’re featured that isn’t exclusively country music. I’m no fan of Beyonce and her simulated goat yodeling, but it’s always been interesting to me how, as a genre, country music can go play in everyone else’s yards, but then scream bloody murder when someone wants to come play in theirs. It seems like country wants to be the perpetual underdog, but then claim to be mainstream when it suits.

      • Kelly says:

        Hmm, see there I don’t agree. Grammys, Billboard, AMAs, those are supposed to feature all genres right?

        On the other hand, if someone told me that George Strait was appearing on the BET awards, I would side eye the hell out of that because those awards are meant to showcase a genre that Strait has no part in.

  13. Bridget says:

    Kaiser, Beyoncé documents everything for posterity. Photos and video.

  14. QQ says:

    *sipping on my Mug of White Tears wearing my “I Told You SO Shirt, very very smugly*
    May them lemons and bees continue to plague em, and a General Huzzah to Natalie too, she is Delighting in this

    • ElleBee says:

      The Hive has a memory as long and active as Beyoncé’s braid. The CMA will not live this down for another 10 years

  15. outoftheshadows says:

    I have one thing to say to the country haters: Goodbye, Earl.

  16. commentingbunny says:

    “We stand by it,” Ms. Trahern said of Beyoncé’s performance, noting that the C.M.A.s had received not only spirited online comments but phone calls — both positive and negative — from viewers. “If a program moves people so much one way or another, I think we’ve had a successful show.”

    In other words: You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation.

  17. nikkisixx says:

    This was a win-win for everyone involved, including the CMAs and excluding the racist trolls who come out online. Beyonce started a conversation and cross promoted. Dixie Chicks won a lot of new fans (not like they care about pissing off the country music viewers, they’d already done that 10 years ago) and CMAs got the most amount of attention since who knows when. What I love about this scenario is how Dixie Chicks, who dared to speak out against Bush and Beyonce, who dared to demand that Black Lives and black women matter, were the biggest spectacle of the night and took away all the media attention from the “true” country musicians and winners.

  18. Radley says:

    Have y’all noticed how many popular female country artists are blonde? Like Fox News and their blonde fetish. It’s very Aryan. It makes me uncomfortable.

    I love the Dixie Chicks version of Landslide. But quite frankly I associate country with southern stereotypes. So I just cannot get into it. Kudos to Beyonce for slaying on “their” turf, though. Black excellence > white hate.

    • Bridget says:

      Blond and for the most part, “nice”.

      But the Dixie Chicks are a once in a lifetime act.

  19. Bridget says:

    To this day, it makes me mad that the Dixie Chicks got such a terrible response for speaking out against the Iraq war, ESPECIALLY considering that now everyone has conveniently forgotten how pro-war they (as in, the American people) were back in 2003. We criticize lawmakers for voting for the war in Iraq when it was what the majority American people were demanding (oh so misguidedly) and yet people conveniently forget the part that they play. I hope those women stand strong and never, ever forget.

  20. hogtowngooner says:

    LOL @ people calling her a “cop-hater” GMAFB. These are the same people who think hurling racism at President Obama makes them look like principled patriots. These are the same people who vilified the Dixie Chicks for saying they didn’t like President Bush all those years ago, saying “freedom of speech is fine, but you don’t do it in public.” Bunch of hypocrites.

    • Bridget says:

      It’s “Freedom of speech is great if it means I can say whatever I want with no one disagreeing with me”

  21. Erin says:

    Hard not to interject here, but I felt like the best performance of the night was the opening medley. That was an incredible representation of some of the best of country music. Beyoncé’s performance with the Dixie Chicks, while good (though not my cup of tea), shouldn’t overshadow the 50 year history of the CMAs and some of the amazing artists who made appearances.

  22. Kath says:

    I highly recommend the doco ‘Shut Up and Sing’ about the Dixie Chicks.

    After all the crap they got from country ‘fans’ back then, plus this latest racist bullshit? Yeah, I don’t think they’ll be going to the CMAs ever again.

  23. sheigh says:

    First Bey is a Texas bama so her credbility in country music is right, how many country singers today are roots like her and secundo, these ugly comments are just lake of country music culture! Say country music is white’s is just Heresy! Go to Google !
    I love Bey, I’m not a fan of Dixcky (or whatever) but the duet sounds pretty good!

  24. Emily C. says:

    The latest cop-killer is a white man who was angry at cops for not letting him threaten black kids. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2016/11/03/confederate-flag-waving-trump-supporter-suspected-in-cop-killings