Just hours after being named to the Country Music Association board, Mike Huckabee was forced to resign following intense backlash from some in the industry over his socially conservative views.

“The CMA Foundation has accepted former Governor Mike Huckabee’s resignation from its Board of Directors, effective immediately,” a CMA spokeswoman said in a statement

In particular, openly gay manager Jason Owen called Huckabee’s appointment “grossly offensive” and “a detrimentally poor choice by CMA and its leaders.” Others in the industry echoed those sentiments.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know moving forward, Sandbox and Monument will no longer support the CMA Foundation in any way (this includes everyone we represent collectively) considering the heartbreaking news shared today regarding Mike Huckabee appointee/elected to the CMA Foundation,” Owens wrote to CMA CEO Sarah Trahern and Director of Community Outreach Tiffany Kerns.

Then, Huckabee responded, citing “bullies” and intolerant behavior for his exit.

“I genuinely regret that some in the industry were so outraged by my appointment that they bullied the CMA and the Foundation with economic threats and vowed to withhold support for the programs for students if I remained,” Huckabee posted online.

“The message here is ‘Hate Wins.’ Bullies succeeded in making it untenable to have ‘someone like me’ involved. I would imagine however that many of the people who buy tickets and music are not that ‘unlike me.’”


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