After splashing into the country music scene and cementing his place as a rising star with his latest album, Dangerous: The Double Album, country singer Morgan Wallen has found his name cast in an unfavorable spotlight. The rising star became surrounded by controversy this week after video surfaced of him using the N-word, leading to massive fallout and condemnation from his peers. Keep scrolling to see everything you need to know about Wallen's racial slur controversy.
Backlash against Wallen was sparked Tuesday afternoon after TMZ published a video of Wallen outside his Nashville home. Filmed Sunday night by a neighbor as he and several friends returned to his residence after a night out on the town, the 27-year-old "Still Goin Down" singer could be seen stumbling. At one point in the video, he told one of his friends to "take care of" this "p— ass mother—" before adding, "take care of this p— ass n—." As the stirrings of backlash erupted, Wallen quickly issued an apology, which read: "I'm embarrassed and sorry. 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 Past Controversies
This, however, was not Wallen's first controversy, nor was it his first time using a racial slur. Before he broke into the limelight, a then 18-year-old Wallen in 2012 tweeted lyrics to a Meek Mill song reading, "I burn bread i aint talkin toast n—." In May 2020, he was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct after getting kicked out of a downtown Nashville bar. He faced further backlash later that year, when, in October, he was seen making out with fans while partying maskless in Alabama. A subsequent Saturday Night Live performance was pulled, though SNL later rebooked him for December after he made an apology. His apology in light of the latest backlash, however, has not held the same weight.
The Country Music World Reacts
As soon as video of him using a racial slur was published, backlash sparked on social media, with some of Wallen's fellow country stars becoming his most outspoken critics. Although some insisted that his use of the slur was not representative of Nashville's culture, Maren Morris said, "it actually IS representative of our town" adding, "we all know it wasn't his first time using that word."
Mickey Guyton, meanwhile, called Wallen's behavior "unacceptable," questioning, "how many passes will you continue to give?" Guyton said Wallen "must feel the weight of his words." Jason Isbell, whose song "Cover Me Up" was covered by Wallen, joined the discussion when declaring Wallen's behavior as "disgusting and horrifying." Isbell said the controversy is "an opportunity for the country music industry to give that spot to somebody who deserves it."
Wallen Now Facing Repercussions0comments
Harsh words and condemnation from his peers are far from the only backlash Wallen is facing. As his album continued to climb the charts, his music has been stripped from multiple stations. Cumulus Media, SiriusXM, Pandora, iHeartMedia, and Entercom have all pulled Wallen from their radio stations. CMT on Wednesday announced it had begun removing Wallen's appearances "from all our platforms," and the ACM Awards has since halted his eligibility to receive awards or perform at this year's show. Wallen's contract with his record label, Big Loud, has also been suspended "indefinitely."
Wallen, as of this posting, has not issued any further statement regarding the matter aside from his initial apology, in which he promised "to do better." Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for the latest updates.