Country star Morgan Wallen suspended from label after shouting racial slur

FILE - Morgan Wallen arrives at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. Wallen has a
FILE - Morgan Wallen arrives at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. Wallen has apologized after a video surfaced showed him shouting a racial slur. The video, which was first published by TMZ on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, showed him outside a home in Nashville, Tenn. yelling profanities. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Country music star Morgan Wallen has been suspended indefinitely from his label and his music pulled from streaming services after a video surfaced of him shouting a racial slur.

Big Loud Records said in a statement posted to social media that Mr Wallen’s contract had been suspended indefinitely.

Republic Records, which he is co-signed to, said it agreed with Big Loud’s decision and that “such behaviour will not be tolerated”.

Meanwhile, The Academy of Country Music, which is currently taking nominations for their annual awards show in April, said in a statement they would “halt” Mr Wallen’s eligibility for this year’s show and will also be reviewing the awards eligibility and submission process.

“The Academy does not condone or support intolerance or behaviour that does not align with our commitment and dedication to diversity and inclusion,” the ACM statement said.

The video, which was first published by TMZ on Tuesday, showed Mr Wallen outside a home in Nashville, Tennessee, yelling profanities and a racial slur.

Mr Wallen said in a statement to TMZ that he was 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 apologise for using the word. I promise to do better,” his statement said.

Mr Wallen is one of the genre’s biggest young stars, with his new record, Dangerous: The Double Album, spending three weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 chart.

But the reaction from the music industry has been swift.

A statement from iHeartMedia, which has hundreds of radio stations across the country, said: “In light of Morgan Wallen’s recent actions involving the use of a racial slur, we have made the decision to remove his music and content from our stations effective immediately.”

As of Wednesday morning, streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music also did not have his songs in their most popular country music playlists, where normally Mr Wallen had multiple songs from his new album.

In October, Saturday Night Live dropped him from a scheduled performance on their show after he violated Covid-19 protocols when videos appeared on social media of him partying with fans in Alabama. He was later invited back on the show in December, where he appeared in a skit making fun of himself.

Other country stars criticised his actions publicly.

Country star Maren Morris tweeted: “It actually IS representative of our town because this isn’t his first ‘scuffle’ and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless.

“We all know it wasn’t his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”

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