Country music singer Morgan Wallen faces backlash after video shows him using racial slur
Country music star Morgan Wallen is facing fierce backlash from fellow artists and radio stations are reportedly refusing to play his songs after he was caught on camera using racist language.
The “7 Summers” singer apologized Tuesday after TMZ posted a video of him using a racial slur after a night out in Nashville over the weekend with a group of companions. In the footage, Wallen appears to be saying an expletive-filled goodbye to friends, telling them to “take care of this … [N-word].”
“I’m embarrassed and sorry,” the 27-year-old performer said in a statement to 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 promise to do better,” he said.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Wednesday, CMT said it is “in the process of removing his appearances from all our platforms.”
“We do not tolerate or condone words and actions that are in direct opposition to our core values that celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion,” CMT said.
Other musicians were quick to condemn Wallen’s slur.
“Black Like Me” singer Mickey Guyton, a Black country music star, noted that Wallen had quoted rap lyrics using the word before in past social media posts.
This is not his first time using that “unacceptable” racial slur and we all known that. So what exactly are y’all going to do about it. Crickets won’t work this time.
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) February 3, 2021
Country singers Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris also weighed in, tweeting:
The news out of Nashville tonight does not represent country music.
— Kelsea Ballerini (@KelseaBallerini) February 3, 2021
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.
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) February 3, 2021
Cumulus Media, a broadcasting company and one of the country’s biggest radio station owners, reportedly sent a directive to managers Tuesday night instructing them to pull Wallen’s songs from their playlists. Citing his racist language, the company said his music should be removed “without exception,” according to Variety.
Wallen made headlines last year after “Saturday Night Live” pulled the plug on his planned October performance after he was filmed breaking COVID-19 protocols. Two months later, “SNL” invited him back and he made his debut on the show.
—Updated at 1:14 p.m.