Morgan Wallen Faces Widespread Industry Backlash After Racist Slur
It didn't take long for Morgan Wallen to see the real-life consequences of his words and actions. Hours after video surfaced of Wallen using a racist slur, a major radio conglomerate pulled his music indefinitely. By 12PM CT on Feb. 3, his record label had suspended his contract indefinitely.
Variety was first to report that Cumulus Media had issued a memo to its 400 stations to remove all of Wallen's music from its playlists — a move that includes his current single, "7 Summers," plus other songs from his newest release, Dangerous: The Double Album. The Tennessean's Dave Paulson reveals that iHeartMedia has also removed Wallen's songs from its radio stations, while a statement to Variety confirms the same of Entercom. Other radio companies, including Townsquare Media, have not commented publicly.
While Wallen's music is still found on Spotify, he's been removed from every playlist except his own. The same seems to be true on Apple Music, while SiriusXM and Pandora have axed his music from their services, per TMZ. CMT came with a more severe measure, as seen in the tweet below:
The Country Music Association, too, wiped Wallen-related content from their platforms, and commended other parts of the industry "for taking swift action." The trade organization also promised to "review additional measures and ... continue to examine our industry's inclusivity efforts." The Academy of Country Music, meanwhile, deemed him ineligible for the upcoming 2021 ACM Awards.
The response from some artists has also been swift and decisive. Mickey Guyton, Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris immediately denounced the use of the N-word — or any racist slur — in any context.
"Let me reiterate. The news about Morgan that broke does not represent “ALL” of country music," Cassadee Pope tweeted. "As you can see, it represents some. It’s disgraceful has to change."
The swell led Wallen's record label, Big Loud Records, to effectively drop him.
"Republic Records fully supports Big Loud's decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated," a statement reads.
TMZ first shared video of Wallen arriving home after a night out and using the N-word as he said goodbye to a friend. A neighbor captured the video, and Wallen later acknowledged it was him and apologized.
"I'm embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back," Wallen says in a statement to TMZ. "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."
The incident comes months after Wallen issued an apology for partying with college coeds while not wearing a mask, which cost him a spot on Saturday Night Live that week. At the time, he said he was going to step away from the spotlight to reflect. He made his SNL debut in December.
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