Rising country music star and The Voice alum Morgan Wallen is facing backlash for allegedly using a racial slur in a video obtained by TMZ. The video caused country music stations to stop playing Wallen’s music as well, according to Variety.
In the video, which was taken on the night of Sunday, January 31, 2020, Wallen and his friends were walking up his driveway, and Wallen was yelling profanities. He can be heard saying “take care of this p****-a** mother******” and “take care of this p*****-a** [n-word]” before walking into his home.
“I’m embarrassed and sorry,” Wallen told TMZ. “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
UPDATE: Wallen’s Dangerous album has now become the only country album to spend seven weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, according to Billboard. according to Billboard.
Wallen Was Removed From Radio Blocks Following the Video’s Release
According to Variety, Cumulus Media, which is the second-largest country music radio chain, sent out a memo telling their staff to not play any songs performed by Wallen.
The company reportedly sent out a memo to all 400+ locations, writing, “Team, unfortunately, country music star Morgan Wallen was captured on video Sunday evening using a racial slur. Effective immediately we request that all of Morgan Wallen’s music be removed from our playlists without exception. More to follow.”
This may come as a large blow to the stations, as Wallen just recently released his Dangerous: The Double Album, and it has topped the charts for four weeks. According to Variety, that set a record for the number of consecutive weeks at number one since Garth Brooks in the 1990s.
Country Music Stars Slammed Wallen for Using the N-Word
Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris and more stars lashed out after seeing the video featuring Wallen.
“The news out of Nashville tonight does not represent country music,” Ballerini tweeted. She also retweeted a reply from songwriter Bonnie J Baker stating, “if a female artist did 5% of the s*** he has pulled she would be dropped immediately by everyone” with the comment “the truth is the truth”
Maren Morris, another star, wrote, “It actually IS representative of our town because this isn’t his first ‘scuffle’ and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless. We all know it wasn’t his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”
This Is Not Wallen’s First Scandal
Wallen is no stranger to scandal. In May 2020, Wallen was arrested in downtown Nashville, according to WSMN News 4 Nashville. He had been kicked out of Kid Rock’s bar by security at around 11 p.m. for being disorderly.
According to the report, Wallen smelled of alcohol and was given the opportunity to go home, but he refused and officers arrested him. He later apologized for the incident on Twitter, saying that he and his friends “didn’t mean any harm” and wanted to apologize to the bar staff and thank the police for being professional.
Wallen was also released from a scheduled job performing on Saturday Night Live in October 2020 after allegedly breaking COVID-19 protocols. Days before he was kicked off the show’s roster, Wallen was seen in TikTok videos without a facial covering in a crowded bar, NPR reported.
“I got a call from the show letting me know I will no longer be able to play,” he said in an Instagram video. “I respect the show’s decision because I know that I put them in jeopardy and I take ownership for this.”
His time on SNL was rescheduled, and he appeared in December 2020, even going so far as to make fun of himself in a skit about what he’d done to be removed from SNL in the first place.