Country star Morgan Wallen apologizes for racial slur; record label suspends him

A video published Tuesday night shows the singer outside a home in Nashville, Tennessee, yelling profanities.

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Morgan Wallen arrives at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2019.

Morgan Wallen arrives at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2019.

AP

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Country star Morgan Wallen has been suspended indefinitely from his label after a video surfaced of him shouting a racial slur and some radio stations have already removed his music from their playlists.

Big Loud Records said in a statement posted to social media on Wednesday that Wallen’s contract has been suspended indefinitely. Republic Records, which he is co-signed to, said it agreed with Big Loud’s decision and said “such behavior will not be tolerated.”

The video, which was first published by TMZ on Tuesday night, showed Wallen outside a home in Nashville, Tennessee, yelling profanities and a racial slur.

Wallen said in a statement to TMZ that he is 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,” his statement said.

He’s one of the genre’s biggest young stars, with his new record, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” spending three weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart, but the reaction from the music industry has been swift.

“In light of Morgan Wallen’s recent actions involving the use of a racial slur, we have made the decision to remove his music and content from our stations effective immediately,” according to a statement from iHeartMedia, which has hundreds of radio stations across the country.

The Academy of Country Music, which is currently taking nominations for its annual awards show in April, said in a statement it would “halt” Wallen’s eligibility for this year’s show and will also be reviewing the awards eligibility and submission process. “The Academy does not condone or support intolerance or behavior that does not align with our commitment and dedication to diversity and inclusion,” the ACM statement said.

As of Wednesday morning, streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music didn’t have his songs in their most popular country music playlists, where normally Wallen had multiple songs from his new album.

The Tennessee-born singer has done a lot of public apologizing lately.

Wallen was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct in May 2020 after getting kicked out of a downtown Nashville bar.

In October, “Saturday Night Live” dropped him from a scheduled performance on their show after he violated COVID-19 protocols when videos appeared on social media of him partying with fans in Alabama. He was later invited back on the show in December, where he appeared in a skit making fun of himself.

Other country stars criticized his actions publicly.

“This isn’t his first ‘scuffle’ and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless,” tweeted country star Maren Morris. “We all know it wasn’t his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”

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