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Brad Paisley Likens Wokeness To A “Cult”

22 June 2023 | 11:19 am | Mallory Arbour

“I definitely think the path forward for all of us is finding the humour and the forgiveness."

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley (Image: Supplied)

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Speaking with political commentator, writer and television host, among a host of other things, Bill Maher on his Club Random podcast, Brad Paisley has discussed his dislike of “wokeness”.

Known for his political satire and sociopolitical commentary, Maher criticised the “woke” movement for taking things too far – and Paisley agreed with him.

“The thing about the woke culture thing that a friend of mine who is a psychologist told me that, this is an interesting comparison because I understand the need for progress. I’ve always loved your show when you talk about celebrating progress. We don’t take the time to do that, to celebrate it.

“In the wokeness sense, there’s things about when woke goes off the rails, it’s when they lean towards being a cult themselves. That is where it’s like ‘You got to repent, you got to do this, you got to [crosstalk],'” Paisley said when Maher suggested “wokeness in many ways set us back.”

Maher responded, “People become asshole buddies when they joke with each other. Now I feel like we’re at this place where, ‘Oh, no, that’s funny, and I think he’d laugh, but I better not,’ because if it goes wrong…”

Paisley agreed and added, “I definitely think that’s the path forward for all of us is finding the humour and the forgiveness. That’s got to happen.”

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In 2022, Maher started the podcast Club Random. On the official website’s About page, it reads: “Maher rewrites the rules of podcasting the way he did in television in this series of one on one, hour long conversations with a wide variety of unexpected guests in the undisclosed location. There’s a whole big world out there that isn’t about politics and [Maher] and his guests talk about all of it.”

Additionally on the podcast, Maher and Paisley discuss what rap and country have in common, the joke West Virginians find funny, how the best lyrics fit on a t-shirt, Paisley's hit song with LL Cool J, how art moves us forward as a society, the tuba players’ burden, Maher’s issue with Miley Cyrus’ song Flowers and more.

Paisley has recently taken a lot of criticism with the release of the song Same Here featuring Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whom he later performed with during a visit to Kyiv, Ukraine. Paisley is also an ambassador for Ukraine’s UNITED24 fundraising campaign.

Following people on Instagram accusing him of “going woke,” Paisley was forced to turn off comments on a post that saw him talking to Fox & Friends about the song.

“Go woke go broke. Stop supporting Ukraine!” one person commented. “Unfollowing,” said another. “Making a song with a president who is leading us to WW3. You have a song called ‘love and war’ speaking about the exact opposite. You used to be a stand up dude, what happened to you?” one asked, while another responded, “Ukraine sell out.”

Proceeds from Same Here went to rebuilding homes for the Ukrainian people.

Paisley said in a press release, “The song is grounded in observing life in the United States, then to people from other countries who speak different languages and to one across the ocean that’s at war. We start to realise how similar we all are.

“That’s one of the things the President says in the song, ‘There is no distance between our two countries in such values.’ They are longing for what we as Americans have already. It’s heartbreaking watching this struggle in modern time for freedom and democracy and the ability to just simply be who they want to be in peace.

“And this song is something that I hope resonates not only with my fans and people in America, but people anywhere that feel a similar desire to be free and safe and happy. Because I really do believe that as human beings when you take away the banners that determine what country we all live in, we all want the same things.”


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