Inclusion for Delusion: Music Industry Following a Comic Industry Trend



With Cracker Barrel’s latest “Five Decades, One Voice” campaign gearing up, it helps bring to light some of the multi-sided arguments that have plagued all entertainment industries in the last years. For those that are unfamiliar with this campaign, I will try to sum it for you. To those that have been following the ongoing comic book industry collapse, let me know when any of this it starts to sound familiar.


Cracker Barrel, a restaurant famous for its southern style cooking, is celebrating their 50 years in existence by collaborating with “legendary female artists” from the Country Music genre. Their hope is to “shine a light on the important role of women in Country Music,” by pairing veterans of the Country Music industry with “an emerging female singer or songwriter.”


This initiative comes at the heels of a study published by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative that showed women represented only 16% of the 500 songs on the Year-End Billboard Hot Country charts rom 2014 to 2018. Another report compiled by musicologist Dr. Jada E. Watson released in April 2019 found that male country artists see their songs receiving 9.7 times more radio exposure than female country artists.


The day the music became… unoriginal.


Singers Brandi Carlile and Trisha Yearwood, who are involved in this project, both gave their perspectives into why women are under-represented in the country music industry. “I’d been writing cookbooks and doing cooking shows…” Yearwood remarked as she explained her long absence from the music industry. “Support each other, don’t compete,” Carlile offered as advise for emerging artists.



It’s obvious that this cheerleading type of support only applies to women, otherwise we would see these same individuals providing their support for the country rock group Confederate Railroad. This band was pulled from their scheduled appearance at the Du Quoin State Fair which was going to take place in the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, which is owned and operated by the state of Illinois. Illinois Department of Agriculture public information officer, Krista Lisser declined to provide a reasoning for their sudden removal, however she remarked: “While every artist has a right to expression, we believe this decision is in the best interest of serving all the people of our state.”


Her comment somewhat confirms fan’s speculation that the band was pulled from the event due to their “controversial” name. Led by Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller, the band’s participation came under scrutiny despite his own admittance that Miller had “never heard anyone claim that the group has Confederacy-loving song lyrics.” Despite the band’s support from fans, and their countless charity support, the damage was done.



While I am not a fan of country music, it is undeniable that it has long been associated with the patriotic retort in America. Artists have made their fame and fortune via their unapologetic support of the U.S. military forces. To see how a “journalist” can derail a band’s appearance by weaponizing their audience is a troubling sign of the future. This future goes beyond the entertainment business, the Orwellian message being given is that our tax-payer funded venues can be forced to bend the knee to the PC Culture that demands fair treatment while ironically censoring those that have done so much to represent their niche marketplace.


I would love to see Cracker Barrel and its supporters take up the banner of criticism against these unjust business practices, however, I think it’s safe to say that it won’t happen. Level of talent does not matter to these culture destroying people, nor does all the good someone may have accomplished. What matters to them is that there should be no individuality, no pride in your heritage, no competition to judge who is the better artist.


The future of this genre is being mentored under the conditions that they should be supportive of each other, rather than embrace the music industry for the competitiveness that it should foster. This is a new take on the “participation trophy” mentality that began years ago, where inclusivity means little more than a cookie cutter image and a soy-based existence. I’m not an Illinois resident, and my taxes do not go to support the maintenance of this venue, however I still find it despicable that in an age of progression we continue to devalue each other for the sake of inclusion.


If you are an Illinois resident, please let us know what you think about these developments. How do you feel about the SJW mentality continuing to have such a stronghold on what entertainment you are allowed to consume? Let us know.

Michael Gutierrez

I review comics and other pop culture on their own merit. Follow me on Twitter @Call2Mike. Please contact Bleeding Fool if you are a creator and are interested in having me review your work.