The tunes of country music’s hottest star, Morgan Wallen, have been removed from numerous platforms following the emergence of a video of Wallen saying the N-word after a night out in Nashville.
Wallen’s music was first pulled by Cumulus Media. The country music heavyweight sent a directive to all of its 400-plus stations to remove Wallen’s songs from their playlists “effective immediately,” Variety reported.
iHeartRadio, Entercom, cable network CMT, satellite service SiriusXM, and streaming service Pandora have all also removed the 27-year-old’s songs. Variety noted that Wallen’s music is not currently appearing on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, too. Nashville-based label Big Loud has suspended their contract with Wallen “indefinitely.”
Additionally, as reported by the New York Post, Wallen “has been disqualified from performing at or receiving any recognition during the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards.”
“I’m embarrassed and sorry,” Wallen said in response to 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. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
TMZ published the video, which was reportedly recorded by a neighbor, showing Wallen spewing expletives and the N-word after a night out in Nashville with friends. TMZ reported:
Variety noted that fans of Wallen’s highlighted that the singer was using the term “as a ‘term of endearment’ among friends and not as invective.”
However, the outlet noted, “the zero tolerance policy for the word is unlikely to get him any reprieves any time soon among major media companies, regardless of how fans might react when many of them awaken to the news that a hero of theirs is in disgrace Wednesday morning.”
A figure in the country music industry said the move to deplatform Wallen’s music has been met without pushback.
“Any listener that doesn’t take extreme offense at the character of these remarks is not a listener we need to entertain,” the industry insider told Variety. “Program directors are like, ‘Oh my god — this guy.’ No one is saying, ‘Are you sure you want to do that? He’s really popular.’ It’s more like, ‘It’s going to be tough to make those changes immediately, but we’ll do it.’ You can’t be pro-N-word. It’s the inarguable word.”
“That’s for him to figure out,” the insider said of Wallen finding his way back in the good graces of country music. “He’s gotten out of jams before, but this is gonna be tough.”