Jack White will be stepping in as this week's Saturday Night Live musical guest after country singer Morgan Wallen was ousted from his spot on the show. The "Whiskey Glasses" singer was removed from Saturday's show, hosted by comedian Bill Burr, after he was spotted partying without a mask following an Alabama football game this past weekend. SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels recalled making the call to rescind Wallen's invitation and revealed White would be stepping in as a replacement during Friday's TODAY show.
While Wallen isn't the first musician to go hard and party, Michaels said the call had to be made after The Voice alum openly broke COVID-19 safety protocols. "We're just living in a different time, and everything is scrutinized," Michaels said. Replacing the musical act in just a few days was "complicated," the SNL creator added. "We're still in the middle of it, I know Jack White is coming in and there could be some other stuff still in discussion."
Lorne Michaels revealed the new @nbcsnl musical guest after Morgan Wallen was removed for breaching COVID-19 protocols. Catch the full interview with @WillieGeist on #SundayTODAY. pic.twitter.com/3VsNILgBH4— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 9, 2020
The former White Stripes member most recently performed on SNL in 2018, playing songs from the solo album, Boarding House Reach, and taking part in a sketch during the show. "He's always good on the show, just always good," Michaels said, adding of the logistics that come into play while finding a replacement on such short notice, "It depends on whether their band is together. Calling somebody on a Thursday to be here for Friday and say, you know, is complicated. It has to be people who are ready to go."
Wallen apologized Wednesday for his behavior after video of him partying in Alabama went viral. "I was getting ready for 'SNL' this Saturday and I got a call from the show that I will no longer be able to play," Wallen said in a video. "And that's because of COVID protocols, which I understand." While he had not tested positive for COVID-19, Wallen said his "actions this past weekend were pretty shortsighted."
"And they have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams," he continued. "I respect the show's decision because I know that I put them in jeopardy and I take ownership for this. I'd like to apologize to SNL, to my fans, to my team for bringing me these opportunities and I let them down. I wish I could have made country music and my fans proud this Saturday, but I respect the decision once again." Wallen closed by thanking Michaels, who assured him they would be able to make up for the performance later down the line.