Disgraced country star Morgan Wallen has released a grovelling apology video addressing his use of a racial slur.
Earlier this month, TMZ leaked footage Morgan Wallen using the n-slur at a drunken night out with friends. The video arrived with a statement from Wallen, who said, “I’m embarrassed and sorry. 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. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
The fallout from the controversy has been immense. In the days following the video surfacing Wallen’s label Big Loud Records announced that they would be indefinitely suspending his contract, a number of streaming platforms pulled his music from playlists, and Academy of Country Awards telecast announced that Wallen has been disqualified from competing in the awards.
Morgan Wallen has now taken to Instagram to share a lengthy video apology, addressing the controversy and apologising for the hurt he has caused. Within the video, Wallen claims to have spoken to leaders in the black community, admitted that he’s now on the journey to sobriety, acknowledging that “my words matter” whilst asking fans who have been defending him to stop.
“I’m long overdue to make a statement regarding my last incident. I wanted to collect my thoughts, seek some real guidance and come to you with a complete thought before I did,” Wallen said, before admitting he was in the midst of a bender.
“You saw was me on hour 72 of a 72-hour bender. And that’s not something I’m proud of either. Obviously, the natural thing to do is to apologize further and just continue to apologize, because you got caught. And that’s not what I wanted to do,” he said.
“Since that video was taken, I’ve been sober for nine days. It’s not all that long of time, but it’s enough to know the man in that video is not the man that I’m trying to be.”
Wallen went on to request that fans stop defending him. “I have one favor to ask. I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me. 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,” Wallen said.
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It’s certainly an apology that checks all the necessary PR boxes. Perhaps we’re jaded cynics and this is a sincere apology, who knows. Irrespective of whether Wallen’s apology was a career-saving ploy or a genuine search for redemption, it may not matter at all — Wallen’s sales have actually experienced a spike since the controversy came to the forefront.
According to MRC Data as reported by Billboard, Wallen’s radio airplay across all genres in the U.S. on February 3rd dropped by a dramatic 71%, in actual plays, going from 2,100 plays to just 617.
Despite this all of his other stats seem to be skyrocketing for the time being. According to the same MRC Data, his music catalogue of albums and songs has sold a combined total of 22,500 copies in the U.S., that being significant in relativity as it shows a 339% sales increase.
He may not be offered the luxury of donning a bolo tie to an awards ceremony, but we don’t think this controversy will have any meaningful impact on his career.