In the wake of the scandal surrounding Morgan Wallen and his use of the N-word, many other country singers have been grappling with some of their own past, racially insensitive behaviors. More specifically, Luke Combs recently apologized for his use of confederate flag memorabilia when he appeared in the music video for Upchurch's "Can I Get An Outlaw." Ryan Upchurch has subsequently responded to Combs' apology, saying that country singers "need to quit being f—ing sissies" in light of this controversy.
According to Music Mayhem Magazine, Upchurch took to his Instagram Story to address Combs' apology. While Combs took a measured and apologetic stance when it came to the insensitive memorabilia that was on display in the "Can I Get An Outlaw" music video, Upchurch said that there was nothing to apologize for. He reportedly wrote, "Y’all country singers need to quit being f—ing sissies, I mean dude, one person does something wrong that they shouldn’t have done and now all of y’all are bowing down ‘i’m sorry,’ you didn’t do nothing, what are you sorry for?”
In addition to addressing the matter on his Instagram Story, Upchurch also uploaded a video on YouTube entitled "my apology." However, he was anything but apologetic in the video, as he said, "You thought this was an apology video, that's cute." He went on to specifically address Combs' apology, saying, “Y’all really think he come out and said this by himself? You don’t think his record label daddy told him to do this? You have to, Morgan Wallen just did that thing so you have to. You think he waited 6 years of not saying nothing, not preaching nothing about unity but now he does and you don’t think somebody told him to? OK.”
Music Mayhem Magazine reported that Combs' record label has been trying to get Upchurch's music video for "Can I Get An Outlaw" removed due to the confederate flag imagery in it. However, on YouTube, Upchurch said, “Record labels don’t tell me what to do, I tell record labels what to do. That’s what I've built for myself in country music.”
During a discussion with Maren Morris for the Country Radio Seminar conference, Combs addressed the fact that the confederate flag appeared in the aforementioned Upchurch music video. He said, in part, “I would never want to be associated with something that brings so much hurt to someone else… I want people to feel accepted; I want people to feel welcomed by country music and by our community… Hate is not a part of my core values.” Upchurch directly responded to this statement on YouTube, telling the camera, “well, I don’t have hate in my core values either and I think everyone who has watched me or come across me over the years, the majority of them know that.”