Maren Morris is shedding light on headlines about her leaving country music, explaining that it’s “hyperbolic” to say she’s putting the entire genre behind her.

“I felt like I don’t want to say goodbye, but I really cannot participate in the really toxic arms of this institution anymore,” Morris, 33, shared during the Wednesday, October 4, episode of The New York Times’ “Popcast” podcast, noting that it’s “ridiculous” to say she’s leaving country music overall.

“I certainly can’t participate in a lot of it,” Morris added. “I’m OK kind of just doing my own thing. Come with me if you please; everyone’s welcome.”

Morris released The Bridge EP last month, with songs “The Tree” and “Get the Hell Out of Here,” seemingly announcing her departure from country music. She also spoke candidly about feeling “very distanced” from the genre during an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

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“I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over,” she said at the time. “But it’s burning itself down without my help.”

However, Morris used the “Popcast” podcast to further explain what she really meant, revealing that she won’t be participating in country music-based awards shows.

“I asked to not submit my music. … I don’t know if it’s forever,” she explained. “I’m not shutting off fans of country music, or that’s not my intention. It’s just the music industry that I have to walk away, a few factions from.”

Maren Morris Clarifies Hyperbolic Comments About Leaving Country Music

Maren Morris on stage.
Catherine Powell/Getty Images for CMT

Morris’ said that her main issue with the country music “institution” — as it was referred to throughout the podcast — came in 2020. (Morris was outspoken at the time about the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and performers canceling concerts during COVID-19 outbreaks.)

“I couldn’t do this circus anymore — feeling like l have to absorb and explain people’s bad behaviors and laugh it off,” she shared. “I’ve changed. A lot of things changed about me that year.”

While 2020 was a major turning point in her life, Morris noted that she had been receiving “backlash” for years in the country music scene.

After she released tracks “My Church” and “80s Mercedes” in 2016, Morris said people would tell her “you don’t belong here.” She said it was the “writing on the wall” of what was to come in her future.

“I think when I zoomed out, looking at hard-cold facts … this is getting significantly worse each year for people on the margins, and women in general,” she said during Wednesday’s interview. “It’s not improved, it’s not even plateaued. It’s gotten worse.”

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Since her rise to fame, Morris has been outspoken about various social issues and how they’re represented in the country music community. She famously made headlines for a public feud last year with Jason Aldean and his wife, Brittany Aldean, over gender-affirming care for young people.

While she may be taking a step back from the “institution” of country music, Morris isn’t actually going anywhere.

“I love living in Nashville, I have my family,” she said. “There’s a reason why people come there from L.A. and New York to write with us. It’s because we have amazing songwriters there. That’s not gonna change.”