Morgan Wallen has shared a video today addressing his recent use of a racial slur that was caught on video earlier this month, leading to the country artist’s suspension from his record label and his music being dropped from radio and streaming playlists.
The five-minute video, which Wallen shared on social media as an “update from me”, starts with him saying that he wanted to “collect [his] thoughts and seek some real guidance” before addressing the incident.
“I was made aware of the video being posted to TMZ with hardly any time to think before it was released to the public,” he said.
He then went on to say that the video was “hour 72 of 72 of a bender”.
“That’s not something I’m proud of…the natural thing to do is to just continue to apologise because you got caught, and that’s not what I wanted to do.”
He listed off the people he feels he let down by his actions, including his parents and his son.
“I also accepted some invitations from some amazing Black organisations…to engage in some very real and honest conversations,” he explained.
“They had every right to step on my neck while I was down, to not show me any grace, but they did the exact opposite. They offered me grace and they paired that with the offer to learn and to grow.
“That kindness really inspired me to dig deeper on how to do something about this, and one thing I’ve learned already – that 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 went on to say that he’s heard first-hand stories from Black people that “honestly shook” him. “I came away from those discussions with a deep appreciation for them, and a clearer understanding of the weight of my words.”
Wallen said that he wants people to learn from his mistakes, and also said that he’s “carefully choosing (his) next steps to repair”.
He explained that he’s been sober for nine days now and is committing to a healthier lifestyle, saying “it’s not that long of a time but it’s enough to know that the man in that video is not the man I’m trying to be.
“I’ve had this week to think about times when I’m sober, and I’m really proud of who I am and my actions for the most part in those moments. When I look on the times that I’m not, that seems to be when the majority of my mistakes are made.”
He asked people not to defend him, saying “I was wrong. It’s on me, and I fully accept any penalties I’m facing. The timing of my return is solely upon me and the work I put in.”
This statement comes after he was recently suspended from his record label, Big Loud Records, in response to the TMZ footage. The label released a statement on the suspension, saying “such behaviour will not be tolerated”.
Wallen had previously told TMZ that he was “embarrassed and sorry”. “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back,” he said at the time. “There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologise for using the word. I promise to do better.”