Morgan Wallen Tells Michael Strahan That His Use Of Racial Slur Was “Playful” And That He “Didn’t Mean It In Any Derogatory Manner”
In January, a neighbor filmed country superstar Morgan Wallen drunkenly screaming the N-word late at night. The video, posted on TMZ, quickly went viral. Country radio pulled Wallen’s music from rotation, and his label announced that his contract was “suspended.” Wallen posted a couple of apology videos, and he announced that he was cancelling his tour to work on himself. All the while, Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album, released shortly before he was filmed using that racial slur, continued to sell. It spent 10 weeks at #1, and it remains the biggest-selling album in any genre this year. Wallen’s sales actually went up after the video went out. Today, Wallen has given his first interview about all of this.
On this morning’s episode of Good Morning America, the show aired a segment of Michael Strahan interviewing Wallen. When asked about why he used that word, Wallen said, “I was around some of my friends, and you know, we just… we say dumb stuff together. It was… in our minds, it’s playful, you know? I don’t know if that sounds ignorant, but that’s really where it came from. And it’s wrong.”
Wallen said that he doesn’t use the word frequently and that he only ever says it “around this group of friends.” He continues, “We were all clearly drunk, and I was asking his girlfriend to take care of him because he was drunk and he was leaving. I didn’t mean it in any derogatory manner at all.”
Wallen also said that he never considered the morality of using a term like that: “I think I was just ignorant about it. I don’t think I sat down and said, ‘Hey, is this right or is this wrong?’… I do understand, when I say that I’m using it playfully or ignorantly, I understand that that must sound like he doesn’t understand.”
When asked about his sales going up, Wallen said that he and his managers figured out that they made an extra $500,000 as a result of that video, and he says they donated that money to the Black Music Action Coalition. He also says that he spent time at rehab in San Diego. And when Strahan asks him about whether there’s “a race problem in country music overall,” Wallen says, “It would seem that way, yeah. I haven’t really sat and thought about that.” He should probably sit and think about it!
Here’s the video: