Country band Lady Antebellum announced that it would change its name to Lady A in the wake of protests, saying that the “antebellum” part contains connotations of slavery before the Civil War.
The Grammy-Award winning group wrote on Twitter: “When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the southern ‘antebellum’ style home where we took our first photos. As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the south that influenced us…southern rock, blues, R&B, gospel and of course country.”
The statement noted that the band is “regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the civil war, which includes slavery.”
The band, which includes Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelley, also issued an apology.
“Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that,” the group wrote. “So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.”
The change came after a number of celebrities and business leaders were fired for making allegedly insensitive statements following Floyd’s death in police custody, which triggered peaceful protests, riots, arson incidents, looting, and general unrest across the United States.
“We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hears have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases black women and men have always faced and continue to face every day,” the band added. “Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.”
The move is sure to renew criticism about “cancel culture,” a form of online shaming popular among social media users that includes a form of boycott when an individual, typically a celebrity, who has shared a questionable or controversial opinion.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “antebellum” generally means “before the war” but is associated with the Civil War.
“The word comes from the Latin phrase ante bellum (literally, ‘before the war’), and its earliest known print appearance in English dates back to the 1840s. The term’s earliest known association with the Civil War is found in an 1862 diary entry: ‘Her face was as placid and unmoved as in antebellum days.’ The author of that line, Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut, recorded her observations of life during the Civil War in A Diary from Dixie, often while accompanying her husband, an officer in the Confederate army, on his missions,” the dictionary entry says.
This week, police shows “Live PD” and “Cops” were both canceled following protests.
“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD,” the A&E network said in a statement to Deadline Hollywood about “Live PD’s” cancellation. “Going forward, we will determine if there is a clear pathway to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role it is to serve them. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”
Dan Abrams of “Live PD” wrote that the show likely will come back.
“To all of you asking whether #LivePD coming back … The answer is yes,” he wrote on Twitter. “All of us associated with the show are as committed to it as ever. We are still discussing some specifics but I want to assure the #LivePDNation that we are not abandoning you.”