Country music star Morgan Wallen’s career plummets overnight after using N-word
The singer's music has been dropped from major playlists on both Apple Music and Spotify
After a leaked video surfaced online of him using the N-word, country music star Morgan Wallen’s career has plummeted overnight.
In a video recorded on Saturday night, Wallen is seen outside hurling profanities at his friends after a night out. Stumbling towards his house, the singer says, “take care of this “p—–ass mother—–,” and then says, “take care of this p——ass n——”
Though it seems as though Wallen was directing the slurs at his friends not out of racial animus but out of ignorance, and despite being one of the hottest country artists since the beginning of the year, those associated with his career were quick to distance themselves.
According to Variety, his label, Big Loud, distributed by Republic Records, has suspended him indefinitely, though his album Dangerous: The Double Album was about to spend its fourth week at #1 on the country charts.
After the video quickly gained steam on social media, Country Music Television removed all of Wallen’s performances, writing, “After learning of Morgan Wallen’s racial slur late last night, we are in the process of removing his appearances from all our platforms. We do not tolerate or condone words and actions that are in direct opposition to our core values that celebrate diversity, equity & inclusion.”
Streaming and radio are also taking a stand, with Cumulus Media, which owns more than 400 radio stations, directing their stations to drop all of Wallen’s songs.
Per Variety, the singer has been erased from major Apple Music and Spotify playlists as well, writing that “by late Tuesday night, Wallen’s image and tracks did not appear anywhere on the home page of Apple Music Country, and his songs were no longer anywhere to be seen in Spotify’s list of 50 top Hot Country songs.”
Wallen released a statement that read:
“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.”
Though country singers are well known to be conservative, according to Variety most of the sources they spoke to wouldn’t back Waller despite the financial hit some are taking with his music becoming inaccessible.
“Program directors are like, ‘Oh my god — this guy,'” one unnamed country music executive told Variety. “No one is saying, ‘Are you sure you want to do that? He’s really popular.’ It’s more like, ‘It’s going to be tough to make those changes immediately, but we’ll do it.’ You can’t be pro-N-word. It’s the inarguable word.”
And other country singers have spoken out against Wallen and his actions.
African-American country singer Mickey Guyton shared her experience as a Black woman in the country music industry, writing, “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.”
Country singer Maren Morris, who frequently uses her platform to honor Black country artists, also took to Twitter to speak to the culture of the genre.
She wrote, “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. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”
Morris may be referring to the fact that in 2012, when he was 18, Wallen retweeted a Meek Mill rap lyric that included the N-word. Last October, he was suspended from an SNL appearance after he was seen on video making out with fans and not wearing a mask while partying in Alabama. After an apology, the show invited him back in December.
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