Update: Jack White will perform as musical guest on this week’s Saturday Night Live. The rocker is replacing Morgan Wallen, who was axed after video surfaced of the singer partying without a mask at a crowded house party amid the pandemic. “It has to be somebody who is ready to go,” SNL creator Lorne Michaels said during the Today show on Friday, October 9.
The “Whiskey Glasses” singer, 27, was spotted drinking and kissing several women while visiting Tuscaloosa, Alabama, according to multiple videos circulating on TikTok. The clips surfaced days before Wallen was scheduled to take the stage on SNL on Saturday, October 10.
The Tennessee native shared via Instagram on Saturday, October 3, that he was visiting the University of Alabama for a football game. “Right before this pic, JT told me he regrets not going to Tennessee. #RockyTop,” he captioned a photo that was taken at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“I’ve seen like 87 tiktoks similar to this one. Morgan Wallen belongs to the streets,” one person tweeted alongside a clip of Wallen downing shots before making out with a woman.
Another person wrote, “Let us take a moment to recognize that Morgan Wallen is a total dirt bag. Most of the girls in this video are 19 years old. As a reminder, he is 27 with a baby. Round of applause, dude.” Wallen shares 2-month-old son Indigo Wilder with his ex-fiancée, Katie Smith.
The country crooner announced on Wednesday that he will no longer be performing on SNL due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“My actions from this past weekend were pretty short-sighted, and have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams,” he said in an Instagram video, noting he received a call from SNL producers telling him he can’t play.
Let us take a moment to recognize that Morgan Wallen is a total dirt bag. Most of the girls in this video are 19 years old. As a reminder, he is 27 with a baby.
— Heather Kirk (@heatherkirkk) October 4, 2020
The musician confirmed that he is “not positive” for the virus before apologizing to the show and his team. “I respect the show’s decision because I know I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership for this,” he said.
Saturday Night Live suspended in-person production due to the coronavirus pandemic in March. The NBC sketch show closed out its 45th season with three virtual episodes in April. The series returned on Saturday for its first show at Rockefeller Center in New York City with a live audience in seven months.
Audience members are required to undergo rapid COVID testing before the show and must wear masks. New York City has also mandated that media productions can only have an audience with cast and crew who are paid for their time. According to the New York Times, SNL‘s audience members received a $150 check when they left the show in compliance with those rules.
“We have 20 cast members in our show right now, and they have to be six feet apart,” the comedian, 38, explained on October 1. “So 20 times six is, uh, probably like 1,000? I don’t know. So, you’re in a table read and you’re hearing voices and you’re like, ‘Who said that?’”