After months on hiatus, and a few at-home episodes, Saturday Night Live is back in the studio for Season 46. Country singer Morgan Wallen is set to be the musical guest for the upcoming episode of the sketch comedy series, which will be hosted by Bill Burr. However, as Variety noted, Wallen has reportedly been seen partying with fans lately without a mask on and he has subsequently drawn a ton of scrutiny for his actions in the process.
Wallen could be seen hanging out with fans in Alabama in numerous Tik Toks, which AL.com noted. The country singer can be seen with a kerchief around his neck and, in one of the videos, engaging in a kiss with someone who appears to be a fan. The video in which he could be seen kissing a fan was reportedly posted on Monday. This news has emerged less than a week before Wallen will appear on SNL on Oct. 10. Wallen's representatives reportedly declined multiple requests for comment on Tuesday. Additionally, representatives for both SNL and NBC declined to comment on the safety protocols that hosts and musical guests must follow when appearing on the series.
Season 46 of SNL premiered on Saturday with Chris Rock as the host and Megan Thee Stallion as the musical guest. Based on photos that were posted on the official SNL Instagram account, it appears as though the cast and crew are adhering to some safety protocols, as Rock wore a mask during rehearsals for the premiere. In advance of the show's return to the studio, SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels discussed how the show navigated this new normal amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"Well, there's the sheer physical challenge of what we can do within protocols. We've been getting support from the governor's office, which is important because the audience is a huge part of it," Michaels said when asked by Vulture to describe how they're filming the show amidst the health crisis. "Also, us coming back and accomplishing the show will lead to — I hate to use the word normalcy — but it's a thing that is part of our lives coming back, in whatever form it ends up coming back. So the physical problems of doing it — number of people who can be in the studio, number of people who can be in the control room, how you separate the band so that they're not in any jeopardy — all of those are part of the meetings we've been having."