A week after being recorded on video using a racial slur, Morgan Wallen has issued a lengthy video statement in which he addresses the controversy, says he’s spoken to leaders in the black community, shares that he’s attempting to get sober, and admits that “my words matter.” He also delivered a message directly to fans who have been defending him: don’t.
“I have one favor to ask. I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me. But for today, please don’t. I was wrong. It’s on me to take ownership for this. And I fully accept any penalties I’m facing,” Wallen said in a video posted to Instagram Wednesday night, a week to the day after the country star lost radio and streaming support and had his record contract suspended indefinitely after video of him using the “n-word” appeared on TMZ.
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Wallen admitted it was time to address fans, his team, and the industry that has since rebuked him. “I’m long overdue to make a statement regarding my last incident. I wanted to collect my thoughts, seek some real guidance and come to you with a complete thought before I did,” Wallen said, going on to say that he was drunk in the video.
“You saw was me on hour 72 of a 72-hour bender. And that’s not something I’m proud of either. Obviously, the natural thing to do is to apologize further and just continue to apologize, because you got caught. And that’s not what I wanted to do,” he said. “Since that video was taken, I’ve been sober for nine days. It’s not all that long of time, but it’s enough to know the man in that video is not the man that I’m trying to be.”
Wallen also says he accepted invitations to meet with black organizations and executives. Last week, both the Nashville chapter of the NAACP and gospel singer BeBe Winans, an advisor to the performing-rights organization BMI, offered to speak with Wallen about the power of his words.
“I admit to you I was pretty nervous to accept those invitations,” Wallen said. “This week, I heard firsthand some personal stories from black people that honestly shook me. And I know what I’m going through this week doesn’t even compare to some of the trials I heard about from them.”
“Our actions matter, our words matter,” Wallen continued. “And I just want to encourage anyone watching to please learn from my mistakes.”
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