Country singer Morgan Wallen has been removed from more than 400 US radio playlists amid the ongoing backlash to his use of a racial slur. After video surfaced of Wallen using the N-word, Cumulus Media, the second-biggest radio chain in the United States, on Tuesday removed Wallen from all of its stations effective midnight CT.
According to Variety, Cumulus sent out a directive to the program directors of all of its stations with the header "MORGAN WALLEN — EXTREMELY IMPORTANT." Signed by Brian Philips, EVP of programming for the chain, and John Dimick, the company's head of programming operations, the directive read: "Team, unfortunately country music star Morgan Wallen was captured on video Sunday evening using a racial slur. Effective immediately we request that all of Morgan Wallen's music be removed from our playlists without exception. More to follow." The directive did not mention if the ban was only temporary or if it is permanent.
The move comes as Wallen's Dangerous: The Double Album release is expected to have a fourth week at the top of the charts, setting a record for consecutive weeks at No. 1 not seen by a country artist since Garth Brooks in the late '90s. He has also had hits with songs like "Whiskey Glasses" and "Up Down" with Florida Georgia Line. While Cumulus is the first radio chain to pull Wallen from their stations, other radio stations across the country are expected to follow suit.
The backlash is in response to a video published by TMZ Tuesday night showing the country singer outside a home in Nashville, Tennessee yelling profanities. According to the outlet, Wallen was out with friends Sunday, with the group arriving back at Wallen's home at around midnight. Upon their return to the residence, the group was reportedly extremely loud, honking horns, and talking loudly. In the video, a stumbling Wallen can be heard telling someone to "take care of" this "p— ass mother—." He added, "take care of this p— ass n—" before he heading into his home.
The backlash to Wallen's use of the racial slur was immediate, and the singer soon issued an apology. In a statement provided to Entertainment Tonight, Wallen said he is "embarrassed and sorry." He acknowledged that he "used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back." He added that "there are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word." He ended his apology by promising "to do better."