While a number of celebrities have readily jumped into the political fray, one country singer has opted to stay completely out of it. Reba McEntire has made it clear she has no intention of joining Cher, Bette Midler, Alyssa Milano, Taylor Swift, George Takei, James Woods, and others in political punditry.
When asked about her stance on publicly speaking about politics by The Hill’s ITK, McEntire had this to say, “That’s not my job.” But she didn’t bash her fellow celebrities who opt to speak out.
“That’s why it’s so great to live here in the United States of America. You can vote in and say what you want to, and you can choose not to say what you want to.”
Although she sang “The Lord’s Prayer” at the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, McEntire has consistently kept herself far removed from personal political expression. In 2017, while appearing on “The View,” she also expressed her feelings about celebrities staying out of politics.
In addressing what would happen if she did speak out during a performance, Reba stated, “My fans would be shocked, because I take it this way. They have paid their hard-earned money to come in there and fill a seat, no parking, getting something at the concession stand, going to eat before the concert.”
“And, I am there to entertain them. To take their worries away from them.”
“So when they walk out they can kinda have a little lilt in their step, and just be going, ‘Ah, that was such a great break from all the problems that I have to deal with during daily life.’ So, I am not going to give them my political views. That’s not my job.”
Co-host Joy Behar said that some might avoid talking politics because it might hurt their brand. But McEntire countered that it was about respect for the fans and her job to entertain, not money.
“That’s not as important as just, this is my job to entertain. It’s not my platform, it shouldn’t be my platform to be up on stage, giving my political views.”
In the world of country music, McEntire is not alone in keeping quiet when it comes to personal political expression. Fox News wrote that fellow entertainer Martina McBride has also taken the same stance.
“I don’t feel like (it’s) my job to talk politics. My job is to entertain people.”
Even country singer and 2018 CMA awards host Brad Paisley said in November he’d be keeping politics out of the awards show. He told Taste of Country, “I’m not gonna touch that. I just don’t find politics funny anymore.”
“There was a time when it was. It’s just not funny to me anymore.”
“To me, I wanna do fun stuff. I don’t wanna talk down, I don’t wanna talk up — it’s like, ‘Let’s have fun.’ And let’s talk about things that everybody can agree are funny.”
He also elaborated further on what that would mean for the show, as well as his thoughts on performers diving into political punditry at all. “I try to find the thing we can all agree on, whatever that is.”
“What’s the common ground? What’s the thing you can sit with anyone no matter where they stand and say, ‘Don’t we agree on this?'”
“I don’t know that it’s always music’s job to do (be political). It can be, but I also think that sometimes it’s music’s job to get you away from some of these things.”
For some, the stance taken by McEntire, McBride and Paisley in award-show hosting duties, is a breath of fresh air. With so many celebrities jumping into the fray, and virtually every other award show being so focused on politics, simply enjoying a concert or celebrating the victories of truly talented individuals can be just what the doctor ordered in a time so filled with vitriol and divisiveness.
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