Who is Morgan Wallen? suspended from label after using ‘N-word’ in video
Singer Morgan Wallen has been suspended “indefinitely” by his record label bosses and had his music and videos removed from top radio and TV networks in light of his racial slur controversy.
The country newcomer, who just secured his third week atop the U.S. chart with his Dangerous: The Double Album release, hit headlines late on Tuesday after TMZ obtained video footage of Wallen using the N-word as he arrived back at his Nashville, Tennessee home on Sunday following a night out with friends.
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.”
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.
He issued a public apology to People.com, admitting he’s “embarrassed and sorry” for using the “unacceptable and inappropriate” language. “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.”
However, the scandal quickly prompted chiefs at iHeartRadio and Cumulus Media to remove the rising star’s songs from their stations, while he was also ditched from Spotify’s Hot Country Songs and Apple Music’s Today’s Country playlists.
Morgan Wallen found himself issuing yet another public apology on Tuesday night after TMZ leaked a video of him using the N-word. In the video, which was reportedly recorded by a neighbor, Wallen can be seen walking home in Nashville with friends and calls one of them the N-word. “I’m embarrassed and sorry,” Wallen told TMZ in a statement. “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.” Wallen has spent three weeks atop the Billboard charts for his album Dangerous, which also broke the first-week streaming record for a country album.
Now executives at independent firm Big Loud Records, to which Wallen is signed, have suspended his contract, with the backing of Republic Records officials, who distributed Dangerous.
A company statement reads: “In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s recording contract indefinitely.
“Republic Records fully supports Big Loud’s decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated.”
— Big Loud (@BigLoud) February 3, 2021
And Wallen’s actions have also cost him airplay on the Viacom-owned channel Country Music Television.
“After learning of Morgan Wallen’s racial slur late last night, we are in the process of removing his appearances from all our platforms,” a representative posted on social media.
“We do not tolerate or condone words and actions that are in direct opposition to our core values that celebrate diversity, equity & inclusion.”
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.
— CMT (@CMT) February 3, 2021
In addition, Wallen was slammed by many of his country peers for using the slur, including Mickey Guyton, who tweeted: “The hate runs deep. Smfh (shaking my f—— head).”
One prominent reaction came from singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, whose song “Cover Me Up” was recorded by Wallen and is included on his chart-topping album.
“Wallen’s behavior is disgusting and horrifying,” Isbell tweeted. “I think this is an opportunity for the country music industry to give that spot to somebody who deserves it, and there are lots of Black artists who deserve it.”
While other singers suggested that Wallen’s actions didn’t reflect Nashville and country music as a whole, Maren Morris countered, “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.”