Big Loud Records has announced its decision to “indefinitely” suspend country superstar Morgan Wallen’s record contract after his neighbor videotaped him using a racial slur. The BBC reports that his songs are also being pulled from radio rotations, as well as Apple and Spotify playlists.
TMZ posted the offensive video on February 2nd. Footage shows Wallen and some friends arriving home from the Nashville bars raucously drunk. Their loud voices and honking horns apparently angered the neighbor, who shot footage of the event. Wallen can be heard shouting, “Take care of this pussy ass motherfucker,” and then, “Take care of this pussy ass n*****.”
“In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s recording contract indefinitely,” the company wrote in a statement. “Republic Records fully supports Big Loud’s decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated.”
Wallen has since apologized, telling TMZ, “I’m embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back.”
The 27-year-old’s sophomore album Dangerous: The Double Album has been the No. 1 record in America for the past three weeks. That success has been driven in part by an elevated profile following previous controversies. Earlier this year, Saturday Night Live dropped him as a musical guest after he was caught partying inside of a bar without a mask. Later, he was re-booked and parodied the incident in a sketch. In 2020, he was arrested after getting kicked out of Kid Rock’s bar. Via Variety, Wallen also used the n-word in a now-deleted tweet from 2012, in which he quoted Meek Mill: “I burn bread i aint talkin toast n*****.”
Across all platforms, corporations are taking steps to pull or minimize his music. Cumulus Media, one of the largest radio networks in America, sent a directive to each of their more than 400 radio stations, saying, “Effective immediately we request that all of Morgan Wallen’s music be removed from our playlists without exception.” Wallen’s tracks have also been yanked from Spotify’s Hot Country Songs and Apple Music’s Today’s Country playlists.
Wallen has received heavy criticism from some of his country colleagues. Mickey Guyton said, “The hate runs deep,” adding, “This is not his first time using that “unacceptable” racial slur and we all known that.” Maren Morris lambasted the industry enablers who’ve profited from Wallen, writing, “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.”
— Big Loud (@BigLoud) February 3, 2021
This is not his first time using that “unacceptable” racial slur and we all known that. So what exactly are y’all going to do about it. Crickets won’t work this time.
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) February 3, 2021
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.
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) February 3, 2021