Thanks to one simple like on her timeline, Carrie Underwood set off quite the Twitter controversy this week.
On Tuesday, the "American Idol" alum threw a "like" at a post from conservative commentator Matt Walsh, who shared video from a recent Metro Nashville Public Schools board meeting showing him giving a speech slamming mask mandates for children.
Earlier this month, the school board adopted a mask policy applying to all students, staff and visitors for the new school year. While Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order this week giving a student's parent or guardian the right to opt out of such mandates, Metro Nashville Public Schools is, so far, refusing to comply.
Here is my speech to the Nashville School Board where I spoke out against the cruel and indefensible mask mandate for children pic.twitter.com/Eq5IFsKyja
In Walsh's video, he compares putting masks on children to "muzzles" on "rabid dogs" -- and said the mandate ignores "evidence, science, common sense and decency." He claimed Covid posed no threat to children, said masks were equivalent to "child abuse" and the mandates would lead to "psychological damage." He also argued the ruling was a political move and not one made in the name of safety.
While Underwood didn't comment on the post or retweet it, her "Like" still helped get the video on the timelines of her 8.2 million fans -- many of whom were surprised to see her presumed support. As screen grabs of her "Likes" tab started to go viral on Twitter, many started weaponizing her own songs against her.
It’s not just that Carrie Underwood liked an anti-mask tweet. It’s that Carrie Underwood liked an anti-mask tweet from Matt Walsh, one of those most negligently histrionic voices on the topic of protecting kids from COVID. 😬
Seeing people react to Carrie Underwood being an anti-vaxxer makes me glad legend Dolly Parton helped bankroll one and two-time Rock And Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks has been pushing for masks, vaccines and social distancing all along.
As the backlash started pouring in, Walsh mocked the reaction by tweeting, "Like anyone else, I am upset and disturbed that Carrie Underwood liked one of my tweets. She should know better than to indirectly endorse the opinions of an extremist and scoundrel such as myself. Her lack of judgment is appalling. I demand that she renounce me and apologize."
"How long before Carrie Underwood officially renounces me? I give it 12 hours, tops," he added. "I could be wrong though. I'm basing this on our general experience with celebrities who face public backlash from the left. In fairness, she could be the outlier. Time will tell."
She has yet to un-like the post. TooFab has reached out to Underwood's rep for additional comment.
In liking Walsh's message, Underwood now appears aligned with fellow celebrity Tennesseans like Jay Cutler and "Good Luck Charlie" alum Leigh-Allyn Baker, who have also been very vocal against their children wearing masks in school.
While Baker made a speech about it at a recent school board meeting in Franklin, Tennessee, Cutler showed his support on Twitter. Sharing a screen shot of an article about the call for masks before the meeting, he wrote, "Not this parent. Really hope I'm not put in the corner by Twitter in my first 24 hrs."
He also shared video of some more anti-mask speeches from the meeting and some of the protests outside. "Let's be clear. No one wants to go to a school board meeting," he captioned a video of a protest, "So this speaks volumes."
After claiming he was going to run for the school board himself, he later claimed he was fired by Uber Eats because their "views aren't aligned" -- and added, "Guess they don't like future School board members. Frees up my weekend."
"We are proud of all the work Uber has done over the last year to help get as many people vaccinated as possible," the company said in a statement to TooFab. "As such, we prefer to partner with those who support that work."
As children under the age of 12 continue to be ineligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, many schools are requiring masks as those who test positive for the delta variant keep growing in number. The CDC has also recommended wearing masks indoors for K-12 schools, regardless of the student's vaccination status.