Morgan Wallen was set to become the next big face of country music. He’s had such a wild success that the country music industry has been calling him the next Garth Brooks, but we are starting to think Wallen is his own worst enemy. His latest scandal involves dropping a racial slur on video and it’s hard to say whether he can recover from this.
The viral video, obtained by TMZ, shows an intoxicated Wallen outside with friends on Sunday night. The group was loud enough that they caught the attention of a neighbor, who filmed the entire event. As part of the group prepares to depart, the country music star drops the N-word way too casually to describe one of his friends.
That racist behavior is having some major consequences today as radio station conglomerates like iHeartRadio announced that they were pulling all of his music from their platforms. Wallen was apologetic in a statement that he released to People, “I’m embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back,” the 27-year-old singer said. “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.”
Despite his success, it might be too little, too late for Wallen, who already had his Saturday Night Live debut postponed last fall after he spent a careless night interacting with fans unmasked in the middle of a pandemic. The show invited him back in December, but it showed a reckless side to the singer.
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.
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) February 3, 2021
Country music has long had a mixed track record when it comes to racism and inclusion. “The Middle” singer Maren Morris acknowledged that Wallen has had tremendous success lately, but “we all know it wasn’t his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”
It might be time for the country music industry to have a reckoning about racism and why it continues to be an issue amongst its superstars. Wallen is the current poster boy, but he’s not the only one. His next steps will make a big difference in whether his career will have a meaningful recovery or whether these errors in judgment have put a screeching halt on his success.
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