BMI, the music rights management organization, says it can’t kick Morgan Wallen from its ranks, but has asked the iconic gospel singer BeBe Winans to educate the disgraced country music singer-songwriter about being a more “empathetic person.”
While the country music industry has pretty much turned its back on the epithet-spewing, big-selling Wallen, BMI says it can’t legally follow suit.
“BMI condemns the hateful and offensive racial slur recently used by Morgan Wallen,” the organization said in a statement this afternoon. “While unacceptable, under the terms of our consent decree, BMI is mandated to accept all songwriters who want to be a part of our organization.”
The music rights entity then went on to note that it has “asked BMI’s Advisor and Gospel legend, BeBe Winans, to reach out to Morgan to help him understand the gravity and impact of his words. Our hope is that BeBe’s outreach can help Morgan become a more inclusive and empathetic person.”
Wallen has kept quiet since his Tuesday night apology, in which he promised “to do better.” No word yet on whether he’ll accept BMI’s offer to meet with Winans.
BMI also removed Wallen’s photo from its Twitter page this afternoon, going from this…
The mega-selling Wallen’s fast rise was followed a faster fall on Tuesday when TMZ posted a video showing the country star returning to his Nashville home from a night out with friends, using both the N-word and the P-word as he loudly bid his buddies goodnight. A neighbor shot the video and gave it to TMZ.
Wallen quickly apologized, but it was too little too late: Country radio dropped him, streaming services dumped him from playlists, his label suspended him and the Academy of Country Music barred him from ACM Awards eligibility. Wallen, a 2020 breakout artist, would likely have been a strong presence on this year’s music awards landscape: His latest record, Dangerous: The Double Album, recently topped the Billboard 200 for four weeks.
A 2014 contestant on The Voice, Wallen made non-music news a couple times last year, first when he was arrested outside a Nashville bar in May for public intoxication and disorderly conduct, and then in October when Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels pulled him from a guest spot after video surfaced of the maskless singer partying in a crowded bar, in violation of SNL‘s Covid protocols. Wallen apologized, and was booked for a December episode, in which he took part in a Christmas Carol-like skit about repenting his mistake.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.