A 22-year-old Kentucky singer and songwriter has been the target of online bullying and threats after he was mistaken for a prominent country music executive involved in a controversy involving Mike Huckabee and the Country Music Association.
The problem started last week when Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate, was appointed to the board of the CMA foundation, the charitable arm of the CMA that supports music education. Jason Owen, co-president of Monument Records and owner of Sandbox Entertainment, publicly opposed Huckabee’s appointment because Huckabee has long been opposed to gay marriage and has supported the National Rifle Association. Owen was not the only music executive to raise questions about Huckabee’s appointment.
And that’s when the headache started for Jason Owens, a Kentucky-based signer and songwriter. He has been besieged with attacks on social media from those who support Huckabee.
“I have received threats and other nasty comments from people who support Mike Huckabee, even though I had nothing to do with what happened,” Owens said. “I have been called a bully; I have been called trash and un-American. It’s crazy.”
Owens said he has tried to tell people online that he’s not the Nashville-based music executive but the comments and the threats have continued. Some of those online comments are from people who are threatening to destroy his career. One twitter user wrote, “@JasonOwensMusic forgets what we conservatives did to the Dixie Chicks career.”
Owens said he’s going public so the online vitriol and hate will stop.
“I am just a musician,” Owens said. “I keep politics out of my shows. I just want to entertain the fans.”