Thomas Rhett says he’s not going to sit idly by when people are being rude and insulting toward his wife.
“There just kind of comes a point where you can say whatever you want about me and my outfits and how ridiculous I look, but once you start talking about my wife, sometimes I can’t hold back,” Rhett told ET’s Kevin Frazier backstage at CMA Fest 2019 on Thursday, one night after walking the red carpet with his wife, Lauren Akins, at the 2019 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday.
The couple were all smiles as they posed for photos at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, ahead of the big show, where they couldn’t have looked happier.
However, a number of haters and critics felt the need to mock Akins’ red carpet style — which consisted of a satiny pink top that matched her pink heeled sandals and an animal-print skirt with a brown belt. Some haters said the look gave off “Jersey Shore vibes” while others said she needed to hire a better stylist, among other various insults.
The comments and criticisms got so bad that Rhett felt the need to disable comments on a picture he shared to Instagram from the event, which he had sweetly captioned, “Mom and dad went to the @cmt awards thank you @littlebigtown for being awesome and rocking with me! #cmtawards.”
Rhett — who opened the show alongside Little Big Town and Trombone Shorty with a performance of his single “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time” — also called out haters directly.
On an Instagram pic shared by People, the criticism was just as rampant, and Rhett himself commented on the outlet’s post, writing, “All of you with these hateful comments should be ashamed. This world doesn’t need more of your negativity.”
“I said that stuff basically just to encourage people to be kind,” Rhett explained to ET. “I can’t imagine being on someone’s [Instagram] page and seeing something and ragging on them for something like that. I can’t imagine myself doing something like that, therefore I can’t imagine how someone else could do that.”
“But that’s the world we live in with the internet and cyber-bullying,” he added. “It’s really unfortunate, and I wish people would just be kinder.”
Rhett — who shares 3-year-old daughter Willa and 1-year-old daughter Ada with Atkins — said he usually does his “best to not respond” to internet trolls, but took particular offense at those targeting the love of his life.
“If you knew my wife as a human being, she’s as beautiful inside as she is out,” Rhett added.
Check out the video below to hear more from Rhett about his happy relationship and his love of fatherhood.
This year’s star-studded CMA Fest, which Rhett is hosting alongside Kelsea Ballerini, is set to air Aug. 4 on ABC.