Country superstar Morgan Wallen has gone from the highest highs — being at the top of the country-music charts for the last several months — to the lowest lows after he was caught on video saying the ‘N-word.’
Less than 24 hours after the video was posted to celebrity gossip website TMZ, Wallen was “indefinitely suspended” from his music label Big Loud Records. Additionally, multiple country music stations across the U.S. removed him from their playlists.
“In wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s recording contract indefinitely,” the Nashville-based label said in a statement, also referring to releasing partner Republic Records. “Republic Records fully supports Big Loud’s decision and agrees such behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Corus Radio, iHeartMedia and other radio station networks quickly followed suit.
“We’ve suspended playing Morgan Wallen on our stations until further notice,” said a spokesperson for Corus Radio.
“In light of Morgan Wallen’s recent actions involving the use of a racial slur, we have made the decision to remove his music and content from our stations effective immediately,” said a representative for iHeartMedia.
The video of 27-year-old Wallen, reportedly captured late Sunday night in Nashville, shows the country music star apparently drunk and shouting expletives to his friends — including the racist slur.
Wallen issued a statement on Tuesday night, apologizing and saying he was “embarrassed.”
“I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back,” he said. “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.”
Other country artists called Wallen out on social media, including Black musician Mickey Guyton.
“When I read comments saying ‘this is not who we are’ I laugh because this exactly who country music is. I’ve witnessed it for 10 gd years,” Guyton wrote. “You guys should just read some of the vile comments hurled at me on a daily basis. It’s a cold hard truth to face but it is the truth.”
Country star Maren Morris agreed with Guyton.
This isn’t the first time Wallen’s behaviour has cost him.
In October of last year, sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live pulled the plug on Wallen’s appearance as a musical guest after the release of a TikTok video featuring the country star going mask-free at a crowded house party where social distancing was not taking place. He eventually appeared on the show Dec. 5 — quite possibly for the last time.
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