Morgan Wallen appeared on Good Morning America on Friday to apologize for using a racist slur, but so far the responses on social media have been unimpressed. Wallen was caught on camera calling a white friend a "p— ass n—" back in February, and tried to explain himself on Friday. Many commenters want to see Wallen take more concrete steps to reconcile.
Wallen was outside of his home in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this year when he flippantly used a racist slur. Video footage of the incident was published by TMZ, and Wallen has since made a few attempts to apologize publicly. His latest came in the form of an interview with ABC's Michael Strahan, where he claimed to be acting out of ignorance, not malice. He admitted that he has a lot to learn about racism in the U.S. before he can truly atone for his misdeed.
On that, at least, commenters agree. Wallen is taking at least as much heat as before, if not more. Many find his "apology" unsatisfactory and perhaps even offensive in its own right, as Wallen did not seem wholly aware of the systemic privilege at play.
"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."
On Twitter, commenters have a lot of thoughts, jokes and instructions on how Wallen can really make this right, if he's interested. Here is a look at what people are saying about Wallen's latest apology for his viral racism.
Michael Strahan teaching Morgan Wallen why the N-word is derogatory is exactly why real history should be taught in school instead of diluting American history… pic.twitter.com/pYGPBEdI3a— Leah Marie ⛵️ (@elle_mariee012) July 23, 2021
To some viewers, the conversation between Wallen and Strahan underscored the need for an overhaul of the way American history is taught in American schools. They thought that a clearer understanding of systemic racism from a young age would give people like Wallen better context.prevnext
him. Even non fans of his, your run of the mill white supremacists, came to his defense and called any backlash cancel culture. Wallen has a history of using the n word and other racially motivated and offensive terms. Dude is a jack a**— Ameshia Cross (@AmeshiaCross) July 23, 2021
America likes racism. Simple.— Jay Porks ✡️ (67680) 🖤 (@JayPorks) July 17, 2021
Some users said that their ongoing frustration came from the continued lack of consequences for Wallen. They noted that, by some metrics, his career has only improved since the viral video came out.prevnext
Morgan Wallen walking into ABC Good morning America studios this morning for an interview pic.twitter.com/3JKEYe1l8g— psedoali 🧔🏾🏀✊🏾 mask back on (dont trust yall) (@psedoali) July 23, 2021
“Morgan Wallen didn’t do anything wrong what about all the rappers that uses the N word” pic.twitter.com/pWH2Fno6HK— CyclopsIsBetterThanWolverine (@Krakoan4Life) July 23, 2021
Users made memes out of Ku Klux Klan (KKK) imagery, joking that Wallen or his defenders were trying to defend themselves from beneath white hoods. The jokes were shocking but they got a clear point across.prevnext
The fact that all these white guys in the replies all angry only proving my point lol— CyclopsIsBetterThanWolverine (@Krakoan4Life) July 23, 2021
Some users also claimed that they had only seen white people defending Wallen's words, and no Black people standing by him at all. They took this as a clear sign that Wallen still had amends to make with the Black community.prevnext
There’s plenty of hard working artists that deserve his spot on radio... he’s gotten way too many chances to not be a fuck up, and he’s blown them all. How about giving artists like @MickeyGuyton , @camcountry , @thechicks , @IngridAndress , @AshleyMcBryde , @iamyola a chance?— Josh Pawlik (@joshpawlik_) July 23, 2021
stop giving morgan wallen a platform— michael (ft. bon iver) (@dyeditkeylime) July 22, 2021
Rather than rehashing Wallen's career, some commenters suggested that outlets like GMA or fans themselves should focus on finding a different talent in the country music genre to give a platform to.prevnext
They say there is no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right— BraedenV VOTE FOR ME TO PERFORM, LINK IN BIO (@BraedenVA) July 17, 2021
Along the same lines, some commenters speculated that all this controversy was only helping Wallen sell more records.prevnext
Morgan Wallen checked himself into rehab after being caught using the n-word. What kind of rehab? If it didn’t address his lack of understanding of racism and white privilege and it didn’t take him through Critical Race Theory then was it just performative rehab?— Young Daddy (@Toure) July 23, 2021
Finally, Wallen mentioned the steps he took to try to improve himself after the scandal first broke — checking into rehab and donating money to charitable causes. Critics suggested more direct ways he could prove he was anti-racist, including some tips from the president of the Nashville chapter of the NAACP. It is not clear if Wallen plans to heed any of this advice.prev