Country singers react to Morgan Wallen using racial slur: 'The hate runs deep'

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·6 min read

Morgan Wallen is apologizing after being caught on video using a racial slur but the backlash has been swift and he’s been “suspended indefinitely” by his record label.

The country singer — last in the news when his mask-free pandemic partying got him bumped from Saturday Night Live (he was later rebooked) — was captured on video, published by TMZ, reportedly using the N-word.

“I'm embarrassed and sorry,” the 27-year-old “Whiskey Glasses” crooner said to the outlet in a statement. “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.”

Wallen’s rep at Sweet Talk Publicity told Yahoo Entertainment that further comment is forthcoming.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 12: Morgan Wallen performs onstage at the Ryman Auditorium on January 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Ryman Auditorium)
Morgan Wallen performs onstage at the Ryman Auditorium on Jan. 12 in Nashville. (Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for Ryman Auditorium)

The video footage, apparently recorded Sunday by Wallen’s neighbor in Nashville, showed the singer being dropped off by friends and seemingly stumbling toward his house. As he did, he yelled the N-word and some other curse words to whoever was in the car.

There has already been fallout. Wallen, considered one of country’s hottest rising stars, has had his record contract suspended.

In a statement posted to Big Loud Records’s social media, it said the decision was made “to suspend Morgan Wallen’s contract indefinitely” and Republic Records, which distributes his recordings, “fully supports Big Loud’s decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated.”

It’s not yet clear what a “suspended” contract means as it’s not a common practice in the music industry.

Further, Wallen — who currently has the No. 1 album, Dangerous: The Double Album, in the country for the third week in a row — saw his music be yanked by iHeartRadio, Cumulus Media, Entercom, SiriusXM, Spotify and Pandora.

While the Viacom-owned CMT has scrubbed Wallen’s music and videos from its airwaves.

The Academy of Country Music also announced Wallen’s music would not be considered for this year’s ACM Awards.

Other country singers were quick to react, including Mickey Guyton, who is the first Black female solo artist to ever receive a Grammy nomination in a country category. She said “the hate runs deep” in one tweet.

In a second post, she wrote it “is not his first time using that ‘unacceptable’ racial slur and we all know that.” And she wanted to know what was going to be done about it as “crickets won’t work this time.”

And the “Black Like Me” singer also responded to those commenting that Wallen is not representative of who country music is. She wrote, “I laugh because this is exactly who country music is. I’ve witnessed it for 10 gd years. You guys should just read some of the vile comments hurled at me on a daily basis. It’s a cold hard truth to face but it is the truth.”

Though she made it clear she doesn’t believe in “cancel culture.”

Kelsea Ballerini is one who said that Wallen’s behavior “does not represent county music.”

She then responded, “The truth is the truth” to a commenter who said if it was a female artist, she would face harsher repercussions.

Maren Morris agreed that “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.”

However, Morris agreed with the sentiment about women in country being treated harsher, responding, “yup. we’d be dropped, endorsements lost, social pariahs to music row...”

Wallen made headlines in October after Saturday Night Live replaced him as the musical guest due to “COVID-19 protocols” after TikTok videos surfaced of him partying — sans mask — and kissing multiple women while visiting a college campus. At the time he apologized, saying, “I think I have some growing up to do. I think I lost myself a little bit.” He ended up making his SNL debut two months later — and poked fun at the controversy.

In an interview with Access last month, he said his intentions “were not malicious. I wasn’t trying to do anything disrespectful,” adding, “I’m still learning.

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