Country music is making a statement after Morgan Wallen was caught saying the N-word and other expletives after a night out in Nashville.
In the video published by TMZ on February 2, the 27-year-old singer could be heard telling one of his friends to “take care of this p–sy-ass n–ga.”
Wallen subsequently apologized in a statement: “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.”
The “7 Summers” crooner’s peers, however, are holding him accountable for his actions.
“The news out of Nashville tonight does not represent country music,” Kelsea Ballerini tweeted after the video was shared.
Maren Morris replied, “Yup. we’d be dropped, endorsements lost, social pariahs to music row.”
The “Girl” songstress also was the first to point out that this wasn’t Wallen’s first “scuffle,” referring to Saturday Night Live retracting his chance to perform on the show in October 2020 after he violated coronavirus safety protocols. (He was given a second chance to appear on SNL in December 2020 and poked fun at the scandal during a skit.)
“It actually IS representative of our town because this isn’t his first ‘scuffle’ and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless. We all know it wasn’t his first time using that word,” Morris tweeted. “We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”
Cassadee Pope also spoke out in a lengthy statement.
“I am completely disgusted by Morgan Wallens’ [sic] words,” the “Wasting All My Tears on You” singer wrote via Instagram. “To be that flippant and nonchalant while hurling the most offensive racial slur you could utter…. some people just have ZERO sensitivity to a real f–king problem in this world: racism. It has no place in country music and has been tolerated and enabled way too long. And it has NO place in this world.”
Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard, who is signed to the same record label as Wallen, applauded the Voice winner’s post, commenting, “Amen.”
Mickey Guyton, for her part, called out industrywide racism.
“When I read comments saying ‘this is not who we are’ I laugh because this is exactly who country music is. I’ve witnessed it for 10 gd years. 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,” the “Black Like Me” singer tweeted. “I do not believe in cancel culture. Watching anyone fall from grace is a terrible thing to see. People must all be given a chance to change. Morgan must feel the weight of his words but completely throwing someone away is detrimental to anyonesca’s mental health.”
That same month, Wallen posted an apology for the resurfaced video.
“I’m long overdue to make a statement regarding my last incident. I wanted to collect my thoughts, seek some real guidance and come to you with a complete thought before I did,” he explained in an Instagram video at the time.
The singer revealed that he has “accepted some invitations from some amazing Black organizations” as he attempts to “engage in some very real and honest conversations.”
“I’ll admit to you I was pretty nervous to accept those invitations,” he noted. “They had every right to step on my neck while I was down, to not show me any grace. But they did the exact opposite — they offered me grace, and they also paired that with an offer to learn and to grow.”
He added: “That kindness really inspired me to dig deeper on how to do something about this. And one thing I’ve learned already [and] I’m specifically sorry for is that it matters. My words matter. A word can truly hurt a person and at my core, it’s not what I’m okay with.”
Scroll through for all of the details of how the scandal is affecting Wallen’s career: