On Sunday night, country music stars gathered for the annual ACM Awards, and viewers praised host Reba McEntire for putting politics on the back burner.
McEntire’s opening monologue largely poked fun at herself, with jokes such as, “I first hosted this show in 1986. To put that in perspective, not only was [singer] Kelsea Ballerini not born, her parents weren’t even dating yet.”
Politics have largely dominated award shows, including the Country Music Awards, and many attendees believe they have an obligation, when given a platform, to advocate for their causes.
However, viewers seemed to enjoy the change of pace the ACM Awards offered and relished the break from politics.
Watching the ACM Awards tonight and not one mention about politics. Just good music. Way to go ACM. #ACMAWARDS. 851, 58 and 1
— Tom Griffey (@GriffeyTom) April 16, 2018
I don’t even like country music but I want to watch and support the ACM awards because NO POLITICS! 🙌
— Brye Ashley 🌿 (@BryeAshley) April 16, 2018
Reba just said she was told not to discuss politics or anything, she said you do realize this is country music don't you. It's nice to see a show where the music is the thing instead of what celebrities think… #ACMawards
— Chuck Nellis (@ChuckNASCAR) April 16, 2018
— Bradley Stoltz (@bmoneymt) April 16, 2018
The decision to leave politics at home shouldn’t have been altogether surprising for viewers. Ahead of the show, McEntire explained to Us Weekly that it was going to be all about “fun.”
“There’s a lot of political things you can address, stuff going on in the world,” she said. “That’s not our theme; our theme is to have fun…”
The host added that the “theme” was “not to be mean, not to be catty, just to have a great night of entertainment, great music, seeing everybody and introducing new music.”
According to Programming Insider, the ACM awards garnered a rating of 7.3/12, which means that 7.3 percent of all TV-equipped households and 12 percent of all households watching TV at the time were tuned in to CBS.
In contrast, the Country Music Awards, which was televised live on ABC in November, only had a 3.2/12 rating, according to Deadline.
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Now, McEntire’s lack of political digs didn’t mean she was devoid of taking a stand on behalf of female entertainers everywhere.
During her opening monologue, she noted that she’s following years of great male co-hosts such as Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, and Bryan and Blake Shelton.
“I guess they finally figured out that it only takes one woman to do the job of two men,” she explained, which warranted a standing ovation and a laugh from herself, even.