Country music star Morgan Wallen was caught on video shouting a racial slur and other profanities, prompting one of the biggest radio chains in the U.S. to drop him from rotation.
More stations are expected to follow. Streaming music platforms appear to be removing the artist from their landing pages, as well.
This could come as a huge blow for Wallen, whose Dangerous: The Double Album is about to have a fourth consecutive week at No. 1.
Video of Morgan Wallen Using Racial Slur Recorded by Neighbors
The video in question was posted on TMZ Tuesday night, after being recorded by Wallen’s neighbors in Nashville, Tennessee. The country star and friends arrived at his home around midnight, after a night out. They were being obnoxious, to be honest — honking horns, shouting, general drunk-and-just-came-home behavior.
Gee, I can’t imagine why the neighbors were angry enough to record his antics and turn it in to the tabloids. 🙄
In any case, Wallen stumbled toward his house, yelling profanities and using a racial slur.
Being rowdy and loud is one thing. However, it was how casually he dropped the racial slur that really got him in trouble.
Note: This is the video, so obviously there will be offensive words and materials in it. View at your own discretion.
Wallen’s Music Dropped From 400+ Radio Stations
It didn’t take long for the industry to respond.
Cumulus Media, one of the largest radio chains in the nation, yanked Wallen’s music from their playlists across 400+ stations within hours of the story breaking. In the middle of the night, a directive was sent to the program directors of 400+ stations with the header, “MORGAN WALLEN — EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.”
“Team, unfortunately country music star Morgan Wallen was captured on video Sunday evening using a racial slur,” the directive read. “Effective immediately we request that all of Morgan Wallen’s music be removed from our playlists without exception. More to follow.”
The message was signed by Brian Philips, Executive Vice President of programming for Cumulus, and John Dimick, the company’s head of programming operations.
Other radio stations across the nation will likely follow suit — at least with a temporary ban on Wallen’s music. And also, according to Variety, it looks like DSPs are responding too. The country artist’s songs were no longer listed in Spotify’s list of 50 top Hot Country songs, nor did they appear anywhere on the homepage of Apple Music Country.
An Apology and a Promise to “Do Better”
For what it’s worth, Wallen has already apologized for his behavior in the video.
“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,” he said in a statement to TMZ. “I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
However, racial slurs aside, Wallen has found himself in plenty of trouble. This is just the latest in a string of incidents.
In May, Wallen was kicked out of a Nashville bar and began getting into fights with passersby on the streets. Cops arrested him because of it. The police report stated he “appeared to be a danger to himself and others.”
And then in October, Saturday Night Live cancelled his scheduled performance, after he was filmed partying at a bar, ignoring social distancing guidelines and not wearing a mask. He called the show’s decision to axe his performance “tough” but “necessary.” He apologized, and as a result, was invited back two months later to perform.