Morgan Wallen released a new apology, eight days after TMZ published a video of him saying the N-word to friends. In the five-minute video, posted to Instagram late on February 10, Wallen gave more details on the incident and his next steps, and implored fans to stop defending his use of a racial slur. “This week, I’ve been waiting to say anything further until I got the chance to apologize to those closest to me that I knew I personally hurt,” he said, naming his parents and son among that group. Wallen said he would be working with “amazing Black organizations” that had reached out in the wake of the incident. “One thing I’ve learned already is, that I’m specifically sorry for, is that it matters,” he said. “My words matter. A word can truly hurt a person, and at my core, that’s not what I’m okay with.” Wallen also said the video was filmed during “hour 72 of 72 of a bender,” and that he had been sober for the last nine days. “When I look at the times that I’m not [sober], it seems to be when the majority of my mistakes are made,” Wallen added. The country star had previously been arrested for disorderly conduct at Kid Rock’s Nashville bar last May and had his Saturday Night Live appearance canceled when video emerged of him partying without a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. (He was able to perform two months later.)
Since the video emerged, Wallen has been “suspended” from his label, Big Loud, and dropped from his agency, WME. Most major radio networks have pulled his music from rotation, and the Academy of Country Music said it “will halt” Wallen’s eligibility for the 2021 awards. Yet Wallen’s album, Dangerous, still kept its top spot on the current Billboard 200, after fans continued to buy Wallen’s music after the video came out — while some others online have even tried to rationalize his use of a racial slur. At the end of his new apology, Wallen seemed to call out those fans. “I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me, but for today, please don’t,” he said. “I was wrong. It’s on me. I take ownership for this. And I fully accept any penalties I’m facing. The timing of my return is solely upon me and the work I put in.” Wallen concluding by quoting the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:13, on giving up “childish ways.” “That’s what I’mma be doing,” Wallen said.