The “Bones” singer appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Thursday, where she discussed the need for more Black country artists to feel welcome in the genre, especially female Black musicians.
The topic came up as DeGeneres, 63, was applauding Morris for using social media to speak out against racial injustice and also share support for members of the LGBTQ community. The 30-year-old performer said she’s “done so much of my own homework” in recent years but was particularly reminded of the significance to call out injustice following George Floyd’s May 2020 death.
“I’m a White woman in country music. I already sort of have this leg up and even though there is a huge disparity between men and women in our genre, there is even more of a disparity between White women and Black women trying to be in country music. There are so many Black women and men who adore country music and don’t feel like the door is open for them even a crack,” Morris said.
Morris, who’s tied with Chris Stapleton for the leading number of nominations for this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards, said the genre has made some progress recently.
Maren Morris shared her desire for country music to become more diverse while appearing on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ on Thursday.
(John Shearer/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM)
“I just feel like country music as a genre, we all have so much room to grow, but country music definitely is stepping up to the plate slowly but surely,” she said.
“I just want to exist in a genre that is working to be better,” Morris added.
DeGeneres praised Morris for also sticking up for herself against social media trolls. She said she pays them no mind.
“You’re always going to have people that want to come for you if you say something that’s unpopular to them or their group think for the second. And for me, I have to think about my son and the people in my circle going forward who I write with, who I employ, and think, am I making room for everybody? I don’t care if someone on Tik Tok thinks I suck. It’s not really my issue,” she added.
Most recently, Morris made headlines for speaking out against country chart topper Morgan Wallen after he was caught on tape using a racial slur.
A racial slur made by Morgan Wallen (left) earlier this year prompted Maren Morris (center) and Mickey Guyton (right) to speak out.
Taking to Twitter, the “Girl” singer wrote: “It actually IS representative of our town because this isn’t his first ‘scuffle’ and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless. We all know it wasn’t his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”
The country singer-songwriter also used her platform to support fellow artist T.J. Osborne for coming out as gay. Morris told DeGeneres she’s been a longtime friend of Osborne and lauded his bravery.
“I hope that him having the bravery to even do that has made a few more people that love country music that are gay feel like they have a home there too,” Morris shared. “He was one of my first friends I made when I moved to Nashville 8 years ago. He’s just so talented, so kind. For him to put it all out there, I’m not a sliver that brave. I’m really proud of T.J.”
Earlier this week, Morris appeared to tease her upcoming performance at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards with a selfie alongside John Mayer. “The Bones” is nominated in the Best Country Song category.