On Tuesday night, footage surfaced of rising country music star Morgan Wallen using the N-word with his friends after a night out in Nashville. The fallout to the slur has been swift. Wallen has been dropped by Cumulus Media, iHeartRadio and Entercom from their playlists, which means that his songs won’t be played on the radio. On top of that Wallen was “suspended indefinitely” by his record label, Big Loud.
Country star Morgan Wallen has apologized after a video taken by one of his neighbors shows him saying the N-word as he came home from a night out.
TMZ reports the video was taken around midnight on Sunday just outside the 27-year-old’s home in Nashville. As he and his friends arrived, they were loud enough for the neighbors to take notice. At one point in the clip, Wallen appears to be berating one of his friends. “Take care of this pussy-ass motherfucker,” he can be heard saying before using the N-word. “Take care of this pussy-ass n***a.”
In a statement provided to TMZ, Wallen apologized.
“I’m embarrassed and sorry. 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,” the recent SNL performer said. “I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
Variety reports that in response to the video, country radio stations have begun removing Wallen from playlists. Cumulus Media, the second biggest radio chain in the country, sent a mandate to program directors at over 400 stations informing the teams to remove his music. “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,” reads the directive.
Wallen’s label Big Loud Records, under the Republic umbrella, announced it “has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s contract indefinitely.” The statement adds: “Republic Records fully supports Big Loud’s decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated.”
— Big Loud (@BigLoud) February 3, 2021
Astutely noted by Variety is the fact that “[w]hat exactly that will mean is not entirely clear, as ‘suspended’ contracts are not common in the music industry.”
Fellow Nashville artists Maren Morris and Mickey Guyton were quick to criticize Wallen on social media. “This is not his first time using that ‘unacceptable’ racial slur and we all known that,” wrote Guyton. “So what exactly are y’all going to do about it. Crickets won’t work this time.”
Morris said, “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 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
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
This isn’t even Wallen’s first controversy of the last six months. Wallen was initially booted from his musical guest spot on Saturday Night Live in October after a video showed him partying maskless in a confined space, and kissing multiple women during a pandemic. He apologized for his actions, which he called “shortsighted,” and returned to the show weeks later to perform ahead of the arrival of his double album Dangerous.
This is definitely the energy corporate America for people who decide to use racial slurs.