Country Star Morgan Wallen Barred From ACM Award Eligibility, Dropped From Radio & Label After N-Word Video – Update

Morgan Wallen
Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection

UPDATE, with ACM statement The fallout from Morgan Wallen’s caught-on-tape use of a racial epithet continued throughout the day, with the Academy of Country Music Awards being the latest organization to disavow with the country music superstar.

“The Academy of Country Music will halt Morgan Wallen’s potential involvement and eligibility for this year’s 56th Academy of Country Music Awards cycle,” the ACM Awards tweeted this afternoon (see the tweet below). “We have made his management team aware of this decision. The Academy does not condone or support intolerance or behavior that doesn’t align with our commitment and dedication to diversity and inclusion.”

The top-selling country music star and former The Voice contestant who was dropped by Saturday Night Live from an appearance in October when video surfaced of him partying without a face mask, is apologizing again, this time for a video that likely will have a harsher impact on his career: In a video shot by a neighbor, Wallen is seen outside his Nashville home shouting the N-word.

The ACM noted that the “unprecedented situation” is prompting a review of the organization’s awards eligibility and submission process, “ensuring our nominees consistently reflect the Academy’s integrity.”

In the video shared by TMZ last night, the singer can be seen and heard returning home from an evening partying with friends when he loudly says goodbye to his buddies, referring to one of them with the epithet. The 27-year-old Wallen released a statement of apology, saying “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.”

Response from the country music industry was swift: As Deadline’s sister publication Variety first reported last night, radio network Cumulus Media immediately removed Wallen from the playlists of its 400-plus stations. Wallen’s music also disappeared from Spotify’s Hot Country Songs playlist and Apple Music’s Today’s Country.

Throughout Wednesday other services and radio chains followed suit in pulling Wallen’s music, including SiriusXM, Pandora, and iHeartRadio.

Morgan’s latest record, Dangerous: The Double Album, has topped the Billboard 200 for four weeks.

Wallen, who was arrested outside a Nashville bar in May for public intoxication and disorderly conduct, made headlines in October when SNL creator Lorne Michaels pulled him from a guest musician 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.

Wallen first came to public attention in 2014 as a contestant on Season 6 of The Voice, making it to the playoffs before elimination.

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