Rising country music star Morgan Wallen’s sudden success has been potentially cut short after the release of a video that shows him saying the N-word, leading to swift condemnation from his record label and radio stations.
The video was shared by TMZ on Tuesday night and displays Wallen and his friends being loud and unruly after a night out in Nashville. Neighbors started filming the disturbance, and when Wallen’s group reached his driveway around midnight, the singer can be heard loudly telling someone in his group to “take care of this p—y-ass n—-r” in reference to another member of the entourage.
This is not the first time Wallen has been embroiled in controversy. He was yanked from a “Saturday Night Live” appearance last October after video emerged of him not wearing a mask in a bar. However “SNL” brought him back on in December after he made an apology, and the incident was joked about in a sketch.
There is also evidence that Wallen has used the N-word previously on social media when quoting rap lyrics, according to Variety. In 2012, he shared a now-deleted tweet of a lyric by Meek Mill: “I burn bread i aint talkin toast n—-.”
Wallen did release an apology for his most recent indiscretion, saying, “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,” he told TMZ.
Wallen’s rep has said there would be no additional comment at the moment.
Reaction to the video has been immediate. Big Loud Records, the singer’s record label, has announced that his contract is “suspended indefinitely,” in a statement they released Wednesday.
“In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s contract indefinitely,” it read. The label that distributes his recordings, Republic Records, “fully supports Big Loud’s decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated.”
Wallen’s music was also removed from the second-biggest radio chain in the nation, Cumulus Media. The company sent out a message to the program directors of its more than 400 stations that 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,” according to Variety.
Despite the fact that his “Dangerous: The Double Album” release was about to spend a fourth successive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, other radio stations across the country are planning to move forward with a ban on Wallen’s music, with no timetable as to when it will be lifted.
The performer also is no longer displayed on the home page of Apple Music Country, nor are his songs present in Spotify’s list of 50 hot country songs.
Mickey Guyton, a prominent Black country music artist who has been vocal in both her songs and her interviews about her experiences with race and prejudice, responded to the story on social media. “The hate runs deep. Smfh.” She then wrote another post that read, “This is not his first time using that ‘unacceptable’ racial slur and we all known that. So what exactly are y’all going to do about it. Crickets won’t work this time.”