The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter took the stage Saturday night at the 2023 GLAAD Media Awards in New York, where she received the Excellence in Media Award. Presented to filmmaker Ava DuVernay and actor Debra Messing in previous years, the award recognizes allies who have “made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people” through their work.
Morris, the first country artist to receive the award, drew cheers and applause after taking a jibe at Carlson in her acceptance speech.
“Maybe I felt a little badass taking Tucker Carlson’s calling me a lunatic for standing up to transphobia, turning it into a T-shirt and raising $150,000 for LGBTQ+ charities,” she said. “That made me feel a little cool, but I don’t want to gloat. I would never insult the recently unemployed.”
— GLAAD (@glaad) May 14, 2023
Carlson, whose history of incendiary commentary may have been a factor in his firing by Fox News last month, branded Morris a “lunatic country music person” last year. At the time, Morris was embroiled in a social media dust-up after calling out Brittany Aldean, the wife of country artist Jason Aldean, for comments directed at parents of transgender children.
In the end, Morris had the last laugh, selling T-shirts featuring the far-right personality’s insult as a fundraiser for Trans Lifeline and the GLAAD Transgender Media Program.
Since then, she’s continued to express her support for the LGBTQ community though very public gestures. In March, she blasted Tennessee’s anti-drag legislation during a performance at Nashville’s Love Rising, a benefit concert for LGBTQ causes.
“Yes, I introduced my son to some drag queens today,” Morris told the crowd there. “So Tennessee, fucking arrest me.”
She and her husband, fellow musician Ryan Hurd, have a 3-year-old son, Hayes.
Maren Morris (left) and "Queer Eye" star Jonathan Van Ness at the 2023 GLAAD Media Awards in New York.
Elsewhere in her GLAAD speech, Morris said she hoped other country artists would follow her lead by taking time to “understand the power of inclusivity.”
“The crowds at my shows are a sea of diversity, from race, identity to age,” she said. “It is a loving, safe space for my band, crew, venue staff and most notably, my fans. This community stood up for me and made me feel safe when I felt alone and I’ll never be able to repay them, but I hope I get to spend the rest of my life and career settling up.”
Other honorees at Saturday’s fête included “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness, who received GLAAD’s Vito Russo Award. The comedies “Fire Island” and “Anything’s Possible” tied and both received 2023’s Outstanding Film award, while Netflix’s “Heartstopper” nabbed an honor for Outstanding Kids and Family Programming.