Morgan Wallen's recent apology for using a racist slur has not satisfied the president of the Nashville chapter of the NAACP, Sheryl Guinn. Wallen appeared on Good Morning America for an interview on Friday, where he apologized for the video leaked back in February. Guinn told TMZ that she does not take Wallen's apology seriously.
After watching Wallen's apology, Guinn said that she believed he regretted getting caught using a racist slur more than he regretted the act itself. She also speculated that he never thought about the true meaning behind the word and that he used it callously. She was put off by Wallen's explanation that the word was "playful" in this context, and said that this was a case of white privilege blinding him to the pain he caused others. She said that for her part, Wallen has not been redeemed satisfactorily.
Wallen was caught on video back in February referring to a white friend as a "p— ass n—" as they were leaving his house. The country singer was slammed for the language at the time, and his apology on GMA this week has not done much to help. He told interview Michael Strahan that he did not mean to hurt anyone and that his words came from a place of ignorance, not malice.
"I was around some of my friends, and we just... we say dumb stuff together," he said. "And it was — in our minds, it's playful... that sounds ignorant, but it — that's really where it came from... and it's wrong."
Wallen said that he "didn't mean it any, in any derogatory manner at all," and continued: "It's one of my best friends — he was, we were all clearly drunk — I was askin' his girlfriend to take care of him because he was drunk and he was leaving."
When Strahan asked what made Wallen think he could use that word, Wallen said he was "not sure." "I think I was just ignorant about it," he said. "I don't think I sat down and was, like, 'Hey, is this right or is this wrong?'"
Wallen also revealed how the scandal played out for him in real-time. He said: "My manager called me probably two hours before the video came out. He was, like, 'Are you sitting down?' And no one's ever called me and said that before... I went to one of my friends [who] has a house out in the middle of nowhere... Just sitting in that house, trying to figure out what it is I'm supposed to do."
Guinn said that what Wallen should do is take concrete steps to combat racism in his community, including the country music industry. She said that he should use his influence to bridge that gap where he can. She also suggested that he pursue COVID-19 vaccination initiatives and equal voting rights in Nashville, where marginalized Black communities are disproportionately under-served.