Tuesday on FNC’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” country music artist Travis Tritt elaborated on his refusal to perform venues that are imposing vaccine requirements for attendees.
Tritt told host Tucker Carlson he had played 75 shows in 2021 and said that the term “super spreader” was not applicable to his events, given there had been no noticeable out-of-the-ordinary increase in COVID numbers after his concerts.
He also called the mandates were divisive and used to “shame” and “discriminate.”
Partial transcript as follows:
CARLSON: Well, here’s something that’s kind of sad, but true. The overwhelming majority of people may dislike something, but in real life, nothing really changes until powerful people stand up against it, and that’s why this is a significant story.
Country music star, Travis Tritt has announced he is cancelling any performance in any venue that mandates masks, requires COVID vaccinations or pushes unreasonable COVID testing protocols. Why is he doing this? Travis Tritt joins us now to explain.
Travis Tritt, we are honored to have you on the show tonight. Thanks so much for coming on and I’m just going to ask you to explain why you’re doing this.
TRITT: Thank you for having me.
CARLSON: And let you talk.
TRITT: Well, we’ve done about 75 shows so far this year all over the country, Tucker, and in spite of the fact that some people would try to label these as being, quote-unquote, “super spreaders,” the actual numbers don’t reflect that at all.
As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. In most of these areas, we’ve seen the COVID numbers actually drop dramatically over the last few weeks and months, and so it came as quite a shock to me and a lot of my fans when after the first week of October, during the first week of October, a lot of these shows had restrictions placed on them not by the state, not by the local city government, not by the local health department in municipalities, but by the actual promoters/venue owners.
TRITT: And there was nothing that justified it, and so I started getting a ton of messages from fans who were basically not warned about these mandates or restrictions ahead of time, showed up at the gate and were turned away and were not even offered refunds. They were offered credits to an upcoming show that had to be used within the next 12 months or else they lose their money for tickets.
And it was just heartbreaking to me. These people have been shut out from getting a chance to go see concerts for over a year, and they’re finally getting a chance to do that again and now, they’re being turned away for some unexplained reason.
So this is not about — this is not about following the science or trying to look out for the safety of the people there, this is about something else. This is trying to divide people.
CARLSON: That’s right.
TRITT: This is trying to shame people. This is trying to basically discriminate against people that they don’t feel are clean enough to be a part of enjoying a concert like that.
CARLSON: Man, that’s so nicely put. So the question is, you’re not the only touring artist who is experiencing this, but you’re one of the very few I’m aware of who has said anything about it, who has said I’m not putting up this, I’m not going along with it.
Why did you decide not to go along with this? I mean what — because you could have just ignored it like everyone else is.
TRITT: You know, I come from a hard-working middle-class family and I have been extremely blessed. I came from nothing.
To have a wonderful, wonderful career that has lasted for over 35 years in this business and to see people that I know — I know these people — these are hard-working Americans that just want to take care of their families, put food on the table for their families, put a roof over their head, and occasionally go out and experience a concert, you know, enjoy themselves, forget about all their troubles for a little while, and to be able to enjoy all of those different things. That’s something that I just — I felt like I had to stand up for — freedom. Freedom for all of those people to be able to go out and do what they enjoy doing and enjoy a concert without being harassed.
CARLSON: Man, and you were willing to lose money on that principle?
TRITT: Yes, yes, absolutely.
CARLSON: A credit to country music. I appreciate it. Travis Tritt, that was great. It was great to see you tonight. Thank you very much.
TRITT: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
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