Hollywood’s Largest Union Responds to the Sexual Harassment Scandal

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The entertainment industry appears to be engaging in a superficial public relations campaign in response to the systemic sexual harassment crisis, which has severely tarnished the once-golden Hollywood brand.

In the fall of 2017, numerous women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, charges that spanned several decades and dealt with inappropriate and possible criminal behavior ranging from harassment to rape.

What has followed the initial Weinstein related expose is a host of harassment and sexual misconduct allegations involving actors, producers, directors, and other high-profile individuals.

Many of the alleged incidents are said to have taken place in hotel rooms. In a number of instances, women who believed they were attending a business meeting were instead subjected to various levels of improper behavior.

After the earth shattering revelations had come to the public forefront, what the appropriate response on the part of the entertainment community should have been was, at a minimum, to immediately cease the practice of holding meetings in hotel room suites.

Tragically, this did not occur and the practice of conducting private hotel room meetings continues to take place, despite the avalanche of news stories surrounding the biggest scandal in Hollywood history.

Elite decision makers in the industry argue that the private hotel room setting has been used to conduct meetings for those seeking roles in movie productions or television programs since the early days of Hollywood.

The continued use of hotel rooms for meetings has finally led SAG-AFTRA, which is the largest labor union in Hollywood representing actors, performers, broadcast journalists, and other entertainment professionals, to actually do something.

The union had been under fire in the wake of the sexual impropriety scandal for failing to protect its members from potential sexual misconduct. After holding a series of public meetings and forums with its members and industry leaders, the union has released a new set of guidelines regarding the conducting of private meetings in hotel rooms and residences, which calls for an end to the practice.

SAG-AFTRA is urging its members and their respective representatives to refrain from accepting professional meetings in “high-risk locations.”

If for any reason a producer and actor fail to come to an agreement on a meeting location, the SAG-AFTRA guidelines establish the concept of a “support peer,” which is an individual who will be available to accompany a performer to the meeting.

Distressingly, the guidelines may prove to be ineffective in the long run, since they are voluntary rather than mandatory.

To understand the industry’s intrinsic conflict, a cursory examination of a significant segment of the entertainment business is necessary; one that seems to have escaped a cultural airing and public dialogue—the music business.

Male music performers, who have had serious accusations lodged against them, seem to have been permitted to take a brief leave from their public appearances. And when a seemingly adequate amount of time has passed, they are subsequently allowed to go forward with their careers as if nothing ever happened.

–Singer Chris Brown was accused of assaulting then-girlfriend singer-actress Rihanna and additionally had similar problems with another girlfriend in 2017. The subsequent girlfriend was able to obtain a five-year restraining order to address claims of abuse and violent threats.

–Singer R. Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, nevertheless has for decades been trailed by accusations of abuse of women and of having had sexual relationships with minors.

–Epic Records chairman and CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid made a swift exit from Sony Music after having been accused of sexual harassment by a female assistant at Epic Records. Variety reported that “multiple” claims were made against Reid. This year Reid announced that he had formed a new record label, Hitco, which has signed rapper Big Boi.

–Singer Trey Songz was recently arrested for felony domestic assault. The felony charge of hitting a woman while at a Hollywood party was rejected by the Los Angeles District Attorney. Songz’s case is still being reviewed by the L.A. City Attorney to determine whether or not to charge the singer with a lesser charge of misdemeanor domestic violence.

–Rapper XXXTentacion was arrested in 2016 and is awaiting trial for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering. The rapper is also facing other felony counts relating to the case and was under house arrest from late December 2017 through March 2018. The rapper recently reached number one on the Billboard Artist 100 chart to become the top musical act in the nation.

–Rapper Fabolous was recently charged with third-degree aggravated assault and third-degree terroristic threats. The rapper allegedly punched a female victim in the face with enough force to knock out her front teeth.

The revelations regarding the horrific practices that were going on in all corners of the entertainment industry were a long time in coming. No superficial image repair has the means to restore the integrity of an individual or to address in any meaningful way the wanton exercise of arrogant power.

Perhaps when criminal prosecutions begin to take place, persons in positions of power and influence will be deterred from taking advantage of employee hopefuls, vulnerable subordinates, and would-be stars.

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Tech Oligarchs Censor the Right

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The technology companies that provide social media platforms have grown to gargantuan size and now possess an ominous power over the ability of citizens to express and communicate ideas.

This control over free expression, which is held by a few tech oligarchs, is unprecedented at any time in human history.

The most widely used social media platform, Facebook, claims 2 billion users globally and is the preferred source for news for 45 percent of American adults. Three hundred hours of video are uploaded to Google-owned YouTube every minute of the day. And Twitter indicates that it has 330 million monthly active users. It was inevitable that these three monolithic social media platforms would be replete with users who seek to influence public opinion.

At one time all three seemed to reflect the notion that the general Internet should be treated as a free and open forum for any and all points of view.

The three have now shown themselves to be untrustworthy with data. They have proven to be biased, and of late have made it clear that they are willing to utilize the same kind of censorship that authoritarian regimes impose.

The ability of conservatives to reach people through the use of social media is being slowly and steadily diminished by the implemented policies of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. This is occurring under the guise of eliminating false information.

Videos, posts, and other expressions are routinely being taken down, accounts are surreptitiously being limited in scope, and in some cases users are even being exiled from the Internet.

Tech giants have consistently demonstrated hostility toward the convictions of Americans who dare to hold contrary views to the pre-ordained liberal script. This all seemed to have begun with the revelation in the spring of 2016 that news curators at Facebook were suppressing news stories from right-of-center outlets. The resultant negative publicity caused Facebook to actually remove its human editors.

Last summer Twitter blocked pro-life advertisements, labeling them “sensitive content.” Early this year Twitter claimed that it was purging the platform of suspected Russian bot accounts, but it ended up causing conservative Twitter users, including podcaster Dan Bongino, to suffer a loss of followers.

In what it claimed to be a hunt for “fake news,” YouTube shut down highly viewed non-liberal channels on its platform. It ultimately had to apologize for what it called “mistaken removals,” just one more admission that a video platform had engaged in ideological censorship. The organization’s use of an extreme left-wing group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, to determine what is “offensive” speech is a major tell of YouTube’s true intentions.

Oddly, the highly entrepreneurial Silicon Valley community has allowed itself to become a slavish patron of anti-business liberalism. As is typical of much of Wall Street and many major corporations, the tech world is devoted to leftist immigration policies that allow tech companies to access inexpensive labor.

Perhaps because the technology world considers itself to be scientifically minded, a huge portion of the tech community has become enamored with faux scientists such as Al Gore and have simply bought the notions of radical environmentalists hook, line, and sinker.

Those outside of the liberal circle, who happen to constitute a sizable segment of society, have made great strides in the past using digital technology to persuade the public. Presently, though, they are justifiably concerned about losing access to social media platforms at such a critical juncture in U.S. politics.

Where do divergent thinkers go to find a way to fight back against the free expression redactors? Here are some options for consideration:

–Litigation.

Lawsuits launched by those who feel as if they have experienced interference with their free expression on social media may find themselves in an uphill battle. However, it may be worth the struggle.

At the trial level, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh recently indicated that Prager University, a non-profit project by author, educator, and national radio talk show host Dennis Prager, failed to show in a lawsuit that YouTube infringed upon its free speech rights by placing age restrictions on its content.

The suit was filed over YouTube’s “Restricted Mode” setting on such topics it deemed offensive. The judge held that YouTube was not a “state actor,” but rather a “private entity” and as such was not subject to First Amendment protections.

The judge also dismissed a claim on another legal theory that YouTube engaged in false advertising by implying that Prager University’s videos were “inappropriate.”

The judge did encourage Prager University to amend its lawsuit to explore whether California’s state constitution would provide protection “in the age of social media and the Internet.” The decision can, of course, be appealed.

–Regulation.

The cumulative actions of social media giants have resulted in otherwise free market thinking individuals to begin eyeing the prospects of some kind of limited government regulation of the social media space.

One approach would be to classify social media platforms as “common carriers” and require that all users be treated equally. This is a variant of the much touted “net neutrality” about which tech blogs often rant.

A specific proposal that seems to have some merit involves mandating that users who are dissatisfied with either Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter be allowed to freely transfer their data to another platform, much in the same way consumers transfer their cell phone numbers from one carrier to another.

–Competition.

It is long overdue that a freedom loving social media provider appear on the scene.

Similar to the way in which the bias of the mainstream media gave birth to the alternative media, i.e., Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and the like, those who hold non-liberal beliefs must create an alternative social media and do so before its too late.

Media Ignores Election Law Violations Related to Facebook’s Obama Campaign Connection

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Facebook is feeling the wrath of left-wing organizations and mainstream media outlets as a result of a recently publicized data breach, which involved the unauthorized gathering of Facebook users’ data by a British consulting firm that worked for then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.

When it publicly became known that Cambridge Analytica, a firm that worked for the Trump campaign, harvested data from 50 million Facebook users, the news triggered intense reactions from a broad range of Democrats and others of a liberal persuasion. Curiously, there was no such similar anger expressed when former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was supplied Facebook data to use for political purposes.

The media quickly glommed on to the Cambridge Analytica story, using it as one more opportunity to excuse Hillary Clinton for her embarrassing presidential campaign loss.

Virtually ignored by the mainstream media, however, was and still is the manner in which the Obama campaign extensively utilized social network data in previous election cycles.

Recently, the hashtag #DeleteFacebook broke out on the social media, and a sizable number of celebrities and high-profile companies suspended their Facebook advertising and some even ceased using Facebook altogether.

–In a Facebook post, actor and comedian Will Ferrell announced that he was going to delete his Facebook account. “I’m reaching out to let you know that in 72 hours I will be deleting my Facebook account,” Ferrell wrote, indicating that he was not deleting it immediately, in order to give his message enough time to reach his fans and followers. He specifically cited, in his words, Cambridge Analytica’s “misuse of millions of Facebook users’ information in order to undermine our democracy and infringe on our citizens’ privacy.”

–Singer-actress Cher used her Twitter account to inform her followers that she was deleting her Facebook account.

–British hip-hop duo Massive Attack made an exit from the social platform.

–Elon Musk deleted the Facebook pages of his companies, Tesla and SpaceX.

–Playboy followed suit.

–Mozilla, creator of the Firefox browser, stated it would stop advertising on Facebook. The company also launched a new Firefox browser extension, which blocks Facebook’s ability to track activities on other websites that have integrated with the social network.

–Auto parts giant Pep Boys, Germany’s second-largest bank Commerzbank, and Electronics manufacturer Sonos halted their advertising on the social media platform as well.

It appears as though the indignation expressed by liberals and the mainstream media has little to do with Facebook’s misuse of data but almost everything to do with their visceral hatred for President Trump.

Meanwhile, what appears to continually be being given a pass is a far more egregious breach of privacy.

In 2012 Facebook presented to the reelection campaign of then-President Obama the data, free of charge, of about 190 million people. This is four-times the amount of people whose privacy was breached in the Cambridge Analytica matter.

Carol Davidsen, former media director for Obama for America, publicly stated that Facebook freely allowed the 2012 Obama campaign “direct access to the personal data of Facebook users, in violation of its internal rules, making a special exception for the campaign.”

Davidsen posted on Twitter that Facebook “came to [the] office in the days following election recruiting & were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”

Political campaigns customarily must pay for access to the above-referenced kind of data. Under federal law, corporations cannot make contributions to federal candidates. This prohibition includes not only cash, but “anything of value.” Corporations therefore cannot provide federal candidates with free services of any type. Such free services are categorized under election law by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as “in-kind contributions.”

When Facebook gave the Obama campaign free access to data, when it would have customarily charged fees for such access, the social media giant may conceivably have violated a federal prohibition on corporate in-kind contributions. Additionally, the Obama campaign may have broken the law by accepting the in-kind corporate contribution.

In contrast, the Trump campaign does not appear to have this kind of legal exposure because it actually did pay Cambridge Analytica for its services.

Hans von Spakovsky, a former member of the FEC, contends that the data transfer by Facebook to the Obama campaign is unlawful, and could even be a matter for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate.

These potential violations of federal campaign finance laws by Facebook and the Obama campaign are serious enough to warrant a much deeper investigation. Campaign finance laws are enforced administratively by the FEC, and civil fines can be imposed; however, the DOJ has concurrent criminal jurisdiction over violations of campaign finance laws.

As von Spakovsky reasoned, “It [the Facebook transfer of data to the Obama campaign] should be investigated by the Federal Election Commission and potentially the U.S. Department of Justice.”

The Celebrities Behind the Anti-Gun March

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Lending support to the recent anti-Second Amendment march, which was misleadingly called the “March for Our Lives,” was a sizable roster of Hollywood elites.

The participating celebrities, who are routinely shielded 24/7 by their own armed security guards, were among those who were financing and supporting the nationwide protests.

The goal in mind was a singular one—to get other people to give up their God-given and constitutionally protected right to defend themselves and their families with firearms.

The Washington, D.C. protest, along with its so-called “sibling” events, was organized and funded with a considerable amount of help from Hollywood liberals and leftist organizations. Thousands of high school students were bussed to various locales via groups and individuals with links to the Democratic Party.

Despite its official noble sounding name, numerous media outlets, including BuzzfeedNews, reported that organizers were really pushing for full-on gun control legislation. It has also become increasingly clear that the march was specifically designed to gin up the voter registration rolls for the upcoming mid-term elections.

Democratic groups in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia boosted the number of attendees by providing free transportation for participants to Washington, D.C. According to Bethesda Magazine, a Maryland Democratic House member hosted a pre-march rally and bussed supporters to the march. And the Washington Post reported that the Democrat mayor of Baltimore arranged for thousands of students to be driven to the march by bus. Democratic groups in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania also reportedly provided buses to participants.

As a further incentive for the younger demographic, organizers put together a free concert with an all-star billing, which included Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Common, Demi Lovato, Jennifer Hudson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Vic Mensa, and Ben Platt.

During the concert, performers proceeded to supplement their music with politically loaded protest visuals.

– Cyrus performed “The Climb” while holding a sign that read “Never Again.”

– Lovato concluded her performance with a raised fist and the words “MSD strong!”

– After Grande sang “Be Alright” she was joined on stage by some attendees who engaged in a group hug and selfie snaps.

– Hudson closed out the show in 1960s protest fashion with a version of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

A number of entertainment figures provided money to the organizers of the event, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, and George Clooney. Taylor Swift, who has made it a point to remain apolitical, indicated that she, too, had donated to the march.

Clooney and Spielberg took to the streets to join the protesters. Other celebrities who made their presence at the march known included Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Jimmy Fallon, Dennis Rodman, and Julianne Moore.

Paul McCartney joined in a march in New York and Amy Schumer spoke at a rally in Los Angeles.

Celebrities who used social media to digitally participate included Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Justin Bieber, Alyssa Milano, Michael Moore, and Debra Messing.

It is apparent that organizers of the march harbor ambition that extends far beyond the initial event. Plans are in the making to lobby lawmakers to achieve desired ends. The finance vehicle for the protest, “The March for Our Lives Action Fund,” is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, which, according to records, was registered on March 8, 2018.

The majority of non-profit groups are registered as 501(c)(3) charitable organizations; this allows donors to receive a charitable tax deduction for their gifts.

However, 501(c)(4) organizations are formed in order to conduct lobbying and legislative advocacy. The choice of this nonprofit vehicle means that donors actually lose tax deductibility for their donations.

On the group’s website, “The March for Our Lives Action Fund” has telegraphed its intent to pursue lobbying, indicating that funds will be used “to fight for comprehensive gun safety legislation at the local, state, and federal level.”

The website also offers a “March for Our Lives voter registration toolkit,” which appears to be a blatant effort to boost Democratic candidates at the polls.

Sexual Harassment Allegations Surface against the President of the Motion Picture Academy

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The last thing Hollywood needs is another high-profile scandal. Unfortunately, this is exactly what recently landed at the doorstep of a once respected institution.

The president of the Motion Picture Academy, who was at the organization’s helm in the midst of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct disclosures, is himself now the subject of an investigation involving multiple accusations of sexual harassment.

According to Variety, John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, is under investigation for sexual harassment allegations. The probe was launched after the Academy received three separate claims of impropriety.

For months the entertainment industry has been in deep distress as a result of the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, which were revealed in reports in outlets such as the New York Times and the New Yorker.

As a means of responding, Hollywood set up a sexual harassment commission and embraced the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

The revelation involving the head of the Academy comes right on the heels of the immensely unentertaining 90th Academy Awards ceremony, which is now infamous for garnering the most disastrous ratings in the show’s history.

Bailey, a cinematographer and film director, is best known for collaborating with big-name film directors including Paul Schrader, Lawrence Kasdan, and Michael Apted. His list of film credits includes “The Big Chill,” “Ordinary People,” “American Gigolo,” “As Good As It Gets,” and “Groundhog Day.” In 2015 he was awarded the American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Achievement Award.

The longtime Academy member was elected to the post of Academy president in August 2017 and had previously been president of the Cinematographers branch. During Bailey’s tenure, the Academy voted to revoke Weinstein’s membership just days after the first reports of sexual misconduct surfaced.

The choice of Bailey raised the eyebrows of some high-profile liberals in the entertainment industry, particularly because vociferous Academy members had been pushing for, among other things, a more inclusive Oscar organization.

Consequently, the then-newly elected 75-year-old Caucasian male president received a substantial degree of disapproval over his age as well as his skin color.

At the time Bailey told Variety, “What you just said is [expletive],” adding, “I was born a white man, and I can’t help it that I’m 75 years old. Is this some sort of limiting factor?”

Under Bailey’s leadership, the Academy established a new code of conduct, which provides for disciplining or expelling members over abuse, harassment, or discrimination and also sets up procedures by which such accusations can be adjudicated administratively.

Such claims are to be forwarded by the Membership Department to the Academy’s Membership and Administration Committee, a committee currently led by David Rubin.

If the allegations are deemed to be credible and serious, the matter is sent to the Board of Governors, which then determines whether to suspend or expel the member, in this case, Bailey.

One of the members of the Board of Governors happens to be Bailey’s wife, Carol Littleton, who presumably would have to recuse herself from the proceedings.

If Bailey were ultimately suspended or removed due to the investigation and adjudication, he would be replaced by Academy first vice president and makeup artist Lois Burwell.

A couple of weeks ago Bailey told the annual luncheon for Oscar nominees that the “fossilized bedrock” of Hollywood would be “jack-hammered into oblivion.”

The claims against the Academy president, the subsequent investigation, and adjudication are occurring at a most inopportune time, especially when one factors in the omnipresence of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

Any due process Bailey might receive is jeopardized by the profound embarrassment that plagues Hollywood elites over their roles in the ongoing scandal.

Oprah’s New Age “Wrinkle”

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Hollywood recently managed to take a classic fantasy novel and strip away its soul.

Author Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” a book published in 1962, is clearly written from a Christian perspective and eloquently communicates the author’s biblical worldview.

Ava DuVernay is the director of a current film adaptation of L’Engle’s work. Unfortunately, it is likely that the author would scarcely recognize her own story as a result of Hollywood’s reverse Midas touch that materializes in the form of New Age mysticism.

The screen version of the literary tale is simply a heavy-handed piece of contemporary cinematic propaganda with an apparent purpose of spreading a superficial New Age theology and one-dimensional feminist ideology.

Winfrey stars as a deity of sorts and appears to use the Disney movie, which is clearly designed to appeal to a younger audience, to preach a form of pagan self-worship.

In an apparent quest for praise from the politically correct crowd in the entertainment industry and film critic community, the big-screen version of “A Wrinkle in Time” places front and center the primary tenet of liberal theology, that being a highly redacted notion of diversity.

Both the original book and the current film adaptation utilize a basic plotline of a teenage girl, Meg, who along with a male friend and Meg’s little brother, embark on an intergalactic multi-dimensional search to find Meg’s longtime missing scientist father.

Mrs. Which (played by Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (played by Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Who (played by Mindy Kaling) are three mystery women with supernatural powers who magically appear in Meg’s life. The trio facilitates Meg’s access to a space-time transportation medium called a tesser, which allows an Oz-like journey to be set in motion.

In L’Engle’s original work, the three women are described as ancient star-beings, who function as guardian angels. However, in the current film adaptation they are depicted as characters similar to that of Glenda in “The Wizard of Oz,” conveying the concept that the three basically comprise a group of good witches.

As is representative of the modern payback currency of Hollywood’s brand of superficial thought, the male characters in the movie are either evil or inept.

Meg demonstrates that she is much more capable than her male counterparts in the tale. The supernatural character of male gender seems to be included for the sole purpose of bringing the element of humor to the scenes in which he appears. Known as Happy Medium (played by Zach Galifianakis) he is somewhat ambiguous in nature and wholly non-toxic in his masculinity.

At the conclusion of the movie, Meg is able to complete the story arc by securing the attendant treasured liberal value of self-esteem, and she does so by embracing the New Age and feminist ideology of the real-life Winfrey.

What is cinematically and artistically tragic is that L’Engle, much like the style of the beloved Christian literary icon C. S. Lewis, wrote her fantasy work through the lens of an explicit Christian worldview. She was an official writer-in-residence at a cathedral, and she possessed the kind of love and reverence for the Bible that so many in the film-going audience share.

L’Engle even sprinkled across the pages of her fantasy novel numerous scriptural passages from both the Old and New Testaments. But the makers of the movie somehow saw fit to surgically remove L’Engle’s quotations from the Good Book and her mention of the name Jesus, as well as any notion of the Judeo-Christian God contained in her novel.

Instead the film added “the universe” as an object of worship and did so in the prototypical New Age manner that for decades Winfrey has fostered and promulgated.

In the film, Winfrey’s character poses the following question: “What if the universe is all inside each of us?”

In order to move magically throughout time and space to the various exotic destinations embedded in the story’s plotline, one must, according to Winfrey’s character, “…become one with the universe and yourself.”

In an apparent effort to give the impression the film is in touch with current personalities, the movie adds references that are not in the book, including the names of Nelson Mandela, Oskar Schindler, Indira Gandhi, and Maya Angelou, as well as a nod to a hip hop play with the inclusion of a line from the Broadway show “Hamilton.”

With the biblical principles stripped away, “A Wrinkle in Time” is essentially a naked attempt at New Age propaganda. It is a fable cloaked in the moth-eaten fabric of cunning deception and hollow self-worship.

Huckabee Withdraws from the Board after Haters Intimidate the CMA

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Left-wing hatred, in of all places Nashville, has just politicized a country music institution.

Rather than learn a lesson from the NFL and Hollywood, a small but highly vocal group of people in Music City has managed to pressure the Country Music Association (CMA) into having former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee withdraw as a board member from the group’s educational arm, the CMA Foundation. Last week the CMA announced two new members of the board of this charitable foundation, Huckabee and singer Chris Young.

Following the announcement, the CMA was the recipient of a hate-filled backlash over its choice of Huckabee because of the former governor’s political and religious views and solid support of President Donald Trump, as well as the fact that he is the proud father of President Trump’s current press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Despite the fact that Huckabee’s appointment to the board was completely separate and apart from his political activity and cultural views, some in the industry for which Nashville is best known targeted their personal animus directly at the former governor.

The most vicious public statement came from country music manager Jason Owen, who happens to own Sandbox, a management company that represents Faith Hill, Little Big Town, and Kacey Musgraves, and co-owns, along with songwriter-producer Shane McAnally, the record label Monument Records. McAnally has written and produced songs for Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, and Miranda Lambert.

Owen labeled Huckabee’s appointment “grossly offensive” and “a shameful choice” by the CMA and its leaders. The music industry manager withdrew the support of Sandbox and Monument, declaring that the artists he handles would not work on behalf of the CMA Foundation.

Owen also intimated that he would pull his support and artists away from the entire CMA over Huckabee’s appointment, specifically focusing on the former presidential candidate’s views on marriage and his support of the NRA.

Since Karen Fairchild, who sits on the foundation board, is also one of the group members of Little Big Town, a client of Owen’s, the CMA leadership feared that Fairchild would resign from the board.

Being the consummate professional and gentleman that he is, Huckabee resigned a mere 24 hours after the announcement of his appointment in order to save the organization from having to deal with any potential turmoil.

Huckabee’s departure occurred a few hours after Owen published his screed on an industry website.

Huckabee provided an explanation for why he had decided to resign, and he did it in the form of a posting on his website, which read as follows: “I genuinely regret that some in the industry were so outraged by my appointment that they bullied the CMA and the Foundation with economic threats and vowed to withhold support for the programs for students if I remained.”

Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, has impeccable credentials as a public servant, and his involvement in charitable endeavors is highly commendable. As a former presidential candidate, Huckabee won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses and finished in delegate count just behind John McCain and Mitt Romney. He additionally has to his credit the accomplishment of having hosted a successful television talk show on the Fox News Channel and currently hosts a television show on TBN.

Huckabee has been an avid musician since he was 11 years old. He is an accomplished bass guitar player and made his playing of the bass guitar a trademark practice on both his Fox News Channel show and on his current TBN show.

When he served as the governor of Arkansas, Huckabee developed a reputation as an effective leader in the area of education policy, and he is recognized as an expert in helping to integrate the arts into the school curriculum.

The small but vociferous group that derailed Huckabee’s appointment to the board of the CMA Foundation has ended up depriving the organization of having a highly qualified member serve with distinction. Since music education is so central to the CMA Foundation mission, losing an individual of Huckabee’s caliber, someone who would have made germane and invaluable contributions to the CMA board’s primary objectives, is an outrage.

Through their actions and rhetoric, certain hate-filled individuals have provided the ugliest of illustrations of exactly what discrimination looks like.

It is difficult to fathom that the country music capital of the world is lacking in individuals who are willing to speak out on behalf of an individual whose faith parallels that of country music legends Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, Josh Turner, and so many others.

“The message here is ‘Hate Wins,’” Huckabee wrote on his web site. “Bullies succeeded in making it untenable to have ‘someone like me’ involved. I would imagine however that many of the people who buy tickets and music are not that ‘unlike me.’”

The truth of the matter is Huckabee’s religious, political, and cultural views are shared by an enormous segment of the American population, many of whom were, up until now, country music consumers.

When these folks find out about the manner in which Huckabee has been treated, they just might adjust their music playlists as well as their buying habits, which may bode poorly for some contemporary country music artists and products.