Photo: Getty Images for CMA
Morgan Wallen found himself issuing yet another public apology on Tuesday night, after TMZ leaked a video of Wallen 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.
Many in the country music community have already commented on the situation, with Mickey Guyton, who was the first Black female solo artist to receive a Grammy nomination in a country category, tweeting, “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.” Kelsea Ballerini, meanwhile, tweeted, “The news out of Nashville tonight does not represent country music.” Maren Morris seemingly responded on Twitter, writing, “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.”
This is not Wallen’s first brush with controversy. In May of last year, he was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct at Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse in Nashville. Months later in October, his performance on Saturday Night Live was cancelled after videos of him partying and ignoring COVID-19 protocols went viral on social media. He apologized at the time, calling his actions “pretty short-sighted.” Wallen was then allowed to appear on the show in December.