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Morgan Wallen Tries to Whitewash N-Word Controversy with Good Morning America Interview

Wallen told Michael Strahan that his use of the N-word was meant to be "playful" and not "derogatory"

Morgan Wallen Good Morning America
Morgan Wallen on Good Morning America (ABC)
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    Morgan Wallen sat down with Good Morning America for his first interview since the controversy stemming from his use of the N-word earlier this year.

    The 28-year-old country singer spoke to GMA anchor Michael Strahan about the incident, in which he was caught on camera using the racial night following a night of partying.

    Asked what led him to use the N-word, Wallen feigned ignorance:  “It just happened. I was around some of my friends, and we just… we say dumb stuff together,” he explained. “And it was — in our minds, it’s playful. I don’t know, that sounds ignorant, but that’s really where it came from. And it’s wrong.”

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    Wallen was adamant that he didn’t use the slur frequently: “It was just around this certain group of friends, I would say…” He also swore that he didn’t mean it in a “derogatory manner.”

    Strahan pushed back, noting that being drunk isn’t justification to use a racial epitaph. “What made you think the word was ever appropriate to use?” Strahan asked.

    “I’m not sure. I was just ignorant about it,” Wallen responded.

    Wallen also revealed that he checked himself in to rehab “to try to figure it out. Why am I acting this way? Do I have an alcohol problem? Do I have a deeper issue?” However, he did not say whether he determined the answers to those questions.

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    He also addressed the spike in his record sales in the aftermath of the incident, and said that he and his team donated $500,000 to Black organizations.

    At the end of the interview, Strahan asked Wallen if there’s a “race problem in country music overall.” “It would seem that way,” Wallen answered, but added: “I haven’t really sat and thought about that.”

    Watch the interview in full below.

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