During a 2018 conversation with Tommy Vietor on the podcast Pod Save America, Jason Isbell addressed the backlash The Chicks (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks) faced in the country music community following Natalie Maines 2003 statement criticizing President George W. Bush.
Isbell said he initially thought the blowback was because The Chicks were dissimilar from the majority of their audience. But when he played the same venue The Chicks played when Maines made the comments that led to the trio being shut out of the country music industry, he realized that it was sexism, not political differences, that led to the group being ousted from country radio.
"It happened because she was a woman," Isbell said. "People didn't want to hear her opinion. And it gave them the opportunity to push another woman out of the entertainment business."
"Watch Eric Church's record sales. They're not going to drop," Isbell said. "Nothing is going to happen to Eric Church. Guys like me can say whatever we want to say."
Isbell, who's long been outspoken about his beliefs, said he believes it's the duty of American citizens to stay informed, form their own opinions on current events and encourage leaders to do what's right.
"It's your job to stay reasonably educated... about what goes on in your country and try to do what's right and encourage people in leadership positions to do what's right," Isbell said. "In order to love an institution you most certainly do not have to agree with every decision they make."
Listen to the entire conversation below.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit recently released the album Reunions, Isbell's seventh studio album overall and fourth with the 400 Unit.
This article was originally published in 2018. It was updated on Oct. 19, 2020.