Topic: Media Research Center
As promised during last week’s episode of ABC's Nashville, gay country star Will Lexington finally got his showdown with the show’s conservative caricature, leading straw-woman: Cynthia Davis. And as you probably guessed, Davis wasn’t portrayed kindly in the episode "Maybe You'll Appreciate Me Someday." Instead, the “conservative” talker is portrayed as a bloviating, incompetent homophobe who can’t string a coherent thought together to save her life.
Davis is also a coward, at first refusing to interview the man she lambasted for not making public appearances just one episode ago. She only relents when he stages a concert outside her studio. (Side note: it’s impressive that Will Lexington was able to muster so many fans when Nashville has repeatedly depicted country fans as homophobic bigots who would never listen to a gay artist’s music.)
Soderstrom, however, is only complaining that this is being depicted; he doesn't deny that there's truth behind it. Perhaps because he can't. Perhaps he can tell us the last time he heard Ty Herndon or Billy Gilman on country radio. And another gay country star, Chely Wright, says she's effectively been frozen out of Nashville (and, presumably, off country radio) after coming out.
Soderstrom also seems to be pretending there are no issues whatsoever with gay-related subjects coming up in country songs. In fact, Kasey Musgraves' "Follow Your Arrow" was largely blacklisted from country radio in part for a lyric advising the girls to "kiss the boys" and then to also "kiss the girls if that's what you're into," and ittle Big Town's "Girl Crush" was similarly blacklisted by country radio simply for appearing to be gay (the song is actually about being jealous of an ex-boyfriend’s new love).
So, yeah, the idea that homophobic is rampant in the country music industry and among fans appears to have a pretty solid base in reality. Not that Soderstrom will ever admit that, of course.