Morgan Wallen is continuing to see a massive fallout in his career after video surfaced earlier this week of the country singer using a racial slur. Showing a new no-tolerance policy for hate and racism, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards have announced that the rising star, whose most recent singles have topped the charts, is now ineligible for any awards this year.
On February 2, TMZ posted a video of Wallen returning to his home in Nashville late Sunday night. The video was taken by a neighbour who was woken up by Wallen and his friends yelling as they returned to the house. In the video, Wallen can be heard swearing at his friends and eventually calling one of them an anti-Black racial slur.
Wallen, who in 2020 was nominated for New Male Artist of the Year at the ACMs, was named in a tweet by the official ACM account on February 3. “The Academy of Country Music will halt Morgan Wallen’s potential involvement and eligibility for this year’s 56th Academy of Country Music Awards cycle,” reads the statement, which referenced the upcoming April 18 awards show. "The Academy does not condone or support intolerance or behaviour that doesn't align with our commitment and dedication to diversity and inclusion."
The statement also included plans to “expedite the offering of long-planned diversity training resources for our ACM membership.” According to yesterday’s Twitter statement, the ACM organization also said they will be examining how members and nominees are chosen. “As a result of this unprecedented situation, the Academy will be reviewing our awards eligibility and submission process, ensuring our nominees consistently reflect the Academy's integrity.”
ACM’s decision arrived only a few hours after Wallen’s label Big Loud, a division of Republic Records, announced they were indefinitely suspending Wallen’s recording contract, tweeting that “such behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Country music stations on iHeartRadio, Sirius XM and Country Music Television have all announced they will cease playing Wallen’s music following the explicit and hateful video.
Shortly after the video was published by TMZ, Wallen issued a statement via People. "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," said Wallen. "I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better."
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Several prominent female country singers have come out in support of Big Loud, the ACM Awards and country radio for taking swift action against Wallen, including Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Cassadee Pope, Lear Turner and Kelsea Ballerini.
NAACP Nashville chapter President Sheryl Guinn has publicly extended an invitation to Wallen to educate the singer. “Even when you look at the other words that were spoken, that one has a certain venom to it that the words just don’t have,” said Guinn in a statement to WSMV. “Because he was such a prominent celebrity and an artist here in Nashville – I mean he’s living here – we would love for him to have that conversation with us. I mean we invite him to come and have that conversation with us – the NAACP – as to why that word is so hurtful.”
This isn’t the first time Wallen’s unacceptable behaviour has impacted his career. In October, 27-year-old Wallen was set to make his debut as the musical guest on SNL when video of him partying mask-less and making out with students at the University of Alabama following a football game surfaced. SNL dropped Wallen as the musical guest for flaunting Covid safety protocols, but later invited him back to perform during a December episode. Obviously, he learned nothing.
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