Shania Twain may be a Canadian icon, but she’s receiving some major backlash for weighing in on American politics. In a recently-released feature for The Guardian ahead of her Now tour, Shania admitted that she would have voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, if given the chance.
“I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest,” she said, “Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bullshit. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation for not being that, right?”
Shania hits on a point made by countless Trump supporters during the election, especially around the time the infamous Access Hollywood tape came out. People were willing to accept his racism, sexism and bigotry because he was laying it all out for the world to see and not hiding his views. That’s a fair point, except vocal disrespect for whole groups of people is not exactly the same as responsible transparency. Many Shania fans were not very accepting of her view point and made it well-known.
Shania Twain would vote Trump. That don't impress me much…
— Duncan Lindsay (@DuncanLindsay) April 22, 2018
My world is shattered…
In this article, my hero and inspiration, Shania Twain says had she been able to vote in 2016, she would have voted for Donald Trump. https://t.co/zNmdmOLdNW
— Ross Rodham (@OnceUponARoss) April 22, 2018
Shania Twain saying she would’ve voted for Trump because he “seemed honest”. pic.twitter.com/HxXLXg7KDv
— Adam👽 (@itsAdamHall) April 22, 2018
— roxane gay (@rgay) April 22, 2018
my favorite trump defense is “he says things that are cruel and that i would never condone but at least he MEANS them" https://t.co/q1grBdvO0U
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) April 23, 2018
After the backlash, Twain released an apology and further explanation on her social media accounts. In the statement, the singer said she was caught off guard by the question and that she regrets answering it without giving her response “more context.” She apologized to anyone she may have offended but also explained further that she believes Donald Trump made himself “accessible” during his campaign in a way many politicians don’t.
“I was trying to explain, in response to a question about the election, that my limited understanding was that the President talked to a portion of America like an accessible person they could relate to, as he was NOT a politician,” she wrote, “My answer was awkward, but certainly should not be taken as representative of my values nor does it mean I endorse him.”
She reiterated several times that she is “against discrimination of any kind” and does not “hold any common moral beliefs with the current president.”
While some fans’ opinions seemed to remain unchanged after the new statement, a few pointed out the absurdity of a Canadian who wasn’t even able to vote in the election having to apologize for her hypothetical vote. Of course, this was never about her physical expression of democracy, it is about her appreciation of a man expressing his discriminatory and hateful views and labeling them as “honest.”
I just realized Shania Twain apologizing for a vote she never even cast is the most Canadian thing I've ever heard.
— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) April 23, 2018
— Michael Smerconish (@smerconish) April 23, 2018
By the end of the day, I want everyone to apologize for something you didn’t do. Just like Shania Twain
— Chet Cannon (@Chet_Cannon) April 23, 2018
Shortly after the drama unfolded, it was announced that Twain would be hosting the Canadian Country Music Awards in September and accepting the Generation Award at the ceremony.