Morgan Wallen banned on country radio after using racial slur

Illustration for article titled UPDATED: Morgan Wallen banned on country radio, has record contract suspended after use of racial slur

Photo: Brett Carlsen (Getty Images)

Morgan Wallen is once again making headlines for his bad behavior, and this time the consequences are justifiably far more serious than losing an SNL gig. Following the release of video footage in which the performer was caught using the N-word, Variety reports that Wallen has now been banned by the second-largest radio station chain in the country. Cumulus Media, which has over 400 radio stations nationwide—including over 70 country music stations—moved swiftly to have Wallen removed from circulation after the footage surfaced on Tuesday evening. In the video, published by TMZ and record by the musician’s neighbors, Wallen can be seen returning from a night out and shouting expletives, including the racial slur.

An email sent to program directors at all of Cumulus Media’s stations and signed by EVP of programming Brian Philips and head of programming operations John Dimick read: “Team, unfortunately country music star Morgan Wallen was captured on video Sunday evening using a racial slur. Effective immediately we request that all of Morgan Wallen’s music be removed from our playlists without exception. More to follow.” Wallen’s music was yanked from the schedule as of midnight, CST.

It’s unclear if the ban is a temporary move, but Cumulus Media isn’t the only company that appears to have taken action. Despite Dangerous: The Double Album entering its fourth week at the top of the charts, Wallen has disappeared from the front page of Apple Music, where he’s no longer featured on playlists or track listings. Spotify also seems to have removed Wallen from its 50 top Hot Country songs playlist. Shortly after TMZ published the video, Wallen released 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.

UPDATE: Following quickly on the heels of Cumulus Media’s ban, Variety reports that Wallen’s label, Big Loud Records, announced it has “suspended indefinitely” the musician’s record contract with the label: “In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s contract indefinitely,” a decision that distributor Republic Records says it “fully supports.” However, it’s not really clear what that means yet. Suspensions of contracts, temporary or otherwise, aren’t really a thing in the music industry; either you have a contract or you don’t. Representatives from the label have yet to respond to calls for clarification.

Angelia S. Rico

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