On Wednesday night, Morgan dropped a five minute video where he apologizes for using the N-word while he was out partying with friends.
Noting that he was “long overdue” for an apology, Morgan explained that he wanted to take some time to collect his thoughts and “seek some real guidance” before speaking out.
Morgan announces he is 9 days sober, Black orgs have reached out to him
“The video you saw was me on hour 72 of 72 of a bender and that’s not something I’m proud of either,” he said. “Obviously the natural thing to do is to apologize further and just continue to apologize, but, because you got caught, but that’s not what I wanted to do.”
“I let so many people down who mean a lot to me and who have given so much to me and it’s just not fair.”
Several Black organizations have reached out to the singer, he said, inviting him to have discussions about racism.
“That kindness really inspired me to dig deeper on how to do something about this. One thing I’ve learned already is, I’m specifically sorry for is that it matters. My words matter. A word can truly hurt a person and at my core, that’s not what I’m OK with,” he said.
“Our actions matter, our words matter, and I just want to encourage anyone watching to please learn from my mistake. There’s no reason to downplay what I did. It matters and please know I’m carefully choosing my next steps in repair.”
The singer has apologized to his family and his been sober for nine days.
“It’s not all that long of a time but it’s enough to know the man in that video is not the man that I’m trying to be,” he said.
“I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me,” Morgan ended the video. ” But for today, please don’t. I was wrong. It’s on me to take ownership for this and I fully accept any penalties I’m facing,” he said.
Morgan’s streaming and downloads remain strong
Cynical me thinks Morgan instantly hired crisis PR and their first instruction was to get sober and their second was to lay low for awhile. Partnering with Black organizations is similar how Nick Cannon handled his crisis. After the Masked Singer host made anti-semitic remarks during a podcast, and he last a few jobs, Nick announced that he was taking “listening sessions” with Jewish groups.
And it worked. After 6 months, Nick got all of his jobs back.
I predicted that Morgan would be back on radio and in the good graces of booking agents and country music organizations within 6 months if he apologizes and makes efforts to make amends with Black groups.
But I think it will be sooner than that. While the corporate folks in country music were quick to punish Morgan, his fans are sticking by him. His streaming and downloads surged after the incident.
Nashville seems already willing to forgive Morgan
It’s behind a paywall, but this piece in the Washington Post mentions that certain quarters in Nashville seem ready to forgive.
For instance, a Nashville music executive posted on Instagram that Morgan is someone who is “maybe a little ignorant” and “lost his fight with alcohol” but “doesn’t deserve this.” Country stars who didn’t say anything publicly condemning his slur “liked” the post and filled the comment section with hearts.
Rakiyah Marshall, who wrote the Instagram post and runs a publishing and artist development company at Back Blocks Music and is in a relationship with Seth England, Wallen’s record label co-founder, wrote that Morgan may be “a little ignorant, for sure makes a lot of mistakes, may need a little extra love & care, has lost his fight with alcohol, but by no means is a racist,” adding he “has a lot to learn about his missteps and it’s going to take a while. He is not perfect nor does he get a pass for his reckless behavior. But he does not deserve this and I’ll stand by that.”
England co-signed the post in a comment, as did country stars such as Lauren Alaina and Jimmie Allen, who posted heart emoji, while singers including Lambert and Dustin Lynch “liked” it.
The Post also notes that local radio stations are already feeling pressure to add Wallen back into the rotation after complaints from listeners, and his record label’s “indefinite suspension” remains vague.
Watch Morgan Wallen’s apology below.