Big & Rich’s John Rich is explaining his decision to defend Carrie Underwood amid anti-mask controversy.
The Big & Rich singer previously came to Underwood’s defense after she faced extensive backlash on Twitter mid-August after liking an anti-mask Tweet from conservative commentator and host of The Matt Walsh Show, Matt Walsh.
When the news broke that the “Cry Pretty” singer supported the anti-mask Tweet, which Walsh “spoke out against the cruel and indefensible mask mandate for children,” thousands of Twitter users attacked the Oklahoma native. Rich previously shared his thoughts on the situation via Twitter, following outrage by hundreds of Twitter users. However, he thinks Underwood should be able to share whatever she wants to on Twitter.
“I say @carrieunderwood can like whatever tweet she wants to like. Who are “they” to shout her down?” Rich tweeted late Tuesday afternoon. “Watch out, she’s a tough Okie gal:) You see what’s going on here? It’s “freedom of speech unless you disagree with the mob.” #CarrieTakeTheWheel”
I say @carrieunderwood can like whatever tweet she wants to like. Who are "they" to shout her down? Watch out, she's a tough Okie gal:) You see what's going on here? It's "freedom of speech unless you disagree with the mob." #CarrieTakeTheWheel
— John Rich (@johnrich) August 17, 2021
Now, weeks after the incident, Rich is explaining his decision to defend the country superstar. In a recent interview with Taste Of Country, Rich explained “We’re at a point in this country where you can’t express your opinion, even in the slightest bit, without running the risk that they’re going to come at you with their razor blades at the ready to cut you up and tear you down just over your opinion. And so, there’s a real issue right now within the artists of country music and the audience of country music. They could not be further apart.”
Rich continued to explain that he believe most of the music industry, not just country artists but all artists, prefer to keep quiet rather than put their career at risk by expressing their beliefs. However, he admitted that he just doesn’t care about what the industry thinks anymore and speaks his mind freely.
“You’ve got a lot of artists that are not Carrie Underwood size, but they are up-and-comers or mid-level artists that have got just as strong of opinions as anybody, but they will not say anything because if they do, the industry will crush them,” Rich added. “I’m in a unique position where I don’t care about the industry. I just really don’t care.”
The “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy” singer recently admitted on FOX Business’ The Pursuit! With John Rich that he decided that his “freedom of speech and the expression of it was more valuable” to him than “the approval of the music industry.”
“How could I look at my kids and basically tell them, ‘Don’t express yourself through your freedom of speech rights, because you’re afraid it might cost you some money, or it might cost you some favor with people,’” Rich said. “I do not want my kids living like that.”
“I’m going to say what I mean and mean what I say and let the chips fall,” he continued to tell the publication. “The industry doesn’t give a s**t about what happens to me anymore, but the audience out there is picking up on what I’m saying. There are new opportunities coming my way. I’m still going to write songs no matter what, because that’s what I do. I may not make a bunch of money on them like I used to, but that’s okay. That’s the existence for me that I’m happy with right now.”
The explanation comes just one day after Rich took to Twitter to defend Jason Aldean’s political beliefs.