Opinion | Country music fans showed their true colors in response to Morgan Wallen controversy

The former “The Voice” contestant and later award-winning singer is in hot water again for his miscalculated actions. But this time fans are running to his support.


Courtesy of Saturday Night Live

Country casanova Morgan Wallen left some fans shocked following recorded footage of the star saying a racial slur. TMZ received a video from one of Wallen’s neighbors on Feb. 2 in which Wallen said the n-word to some friends.

In the video, which was taken on Jan. 31, Wallen was said to be returning to his home after a night out in Nashville. The neighbor, identity unknown, began recording Wallen and his friends due to the group honking their horns and being rambunctious around midnight. 

Video from another neighbor’s doorbell camera also confirmed Wallen’s use of the slur.

In a statement to TMZ, Wallen offered remorse for the incident.

“I’m embarrassed and sorry,” he said. “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back.”

Roughly an hour before TMZ’s article, Wallen posted to Facebook a promotion of his latest double-sided album “Dangerous.” It has remained on the Billboard Top 200 charts for three weeks – a feat country music has not seen for nearly a decade. But aside from an apology to TMZ, Wallen remained silent on the matter for more than a week.

Fans, on the contrary, did not. Many came to the singer’s defense for his blatant hate speech. Posters have been left anonymous.

Under the singer’s original album promotion, one top commenter said the only people who care about the controversy are “Karens.”

The term ‘Karen’ is a slang term used to mock entitled and often racist middle-aged white women. Quite the word choice to use against people calling out racism rather than people defending it.

Another spectator wished critics would give the singer grace.

“Everyone makes mistakes,” she said. “The only difference is that we aren’t under the spotlight twenty-four seven to get ‘caught.’”

While others asked for people to have mercy.

“He made a mistake in saying what he did, but he has apologized,” one said. “I accept it. Now let’s move on.”

Sifting through the post’s comments will only lead readers to find tens of fans defending Wallen’s actions. Thus, Twitter was the place to find oppositional views on the incident.

One user compared Wallen sympathizers to the counteractive defense of police officers during the Black Lives Matter protests.

Another criticized the music industry at large.


And a Taylor Swift fan came at the situation with a necessary dose of humor.

Due to the recent buzz, Wallen has experienced a harsh decline in airplay, according to Billboard, but fans would not let the artist suffer in silence. 

In spite of his bare radio presence, Billboard reported Wallen’s sales going up 339%. Similarly, his songs were downloaded more than 14,000 times on Feb. 3. Wallen only saw 4,000 sales the day before.

Though he has raised money through the short term, the big money makers have been less forgiving.

Wallen’s label Big Loud Records released a Twitter statement on Feb. 3 terminating the singer’s contract “indefinitely.” 


iHeartMedia and Country Music Television, or CMT Network, also rebuked his statement.

In a statement to NBC, one CMT spokesperson made their disapproval very clear.

We do not tolerate or condone words and actions that are in direct opposition to our core values that celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion,” they said.

An iHeartMedia representative submitted a statement to Billboard.

“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,” they said.

Wallen did release an unlisted apology video on his YouTube channel Wednesday.

In the video titled “Update from me,” Wallen said he had waited to make his “long overdue” statement until he could recollect his thoughts and form his words clearly.

“I was made aware of the video being posted to TMZ with hardly any time to think before it was released to the public,” he said. “I was asked if I wanted to apologize, and of course I did.” 

Wallen said he was not proud of the event and did not want to apologize solely for getting caught saying the slur.

“I let so many people down and who mean a lot to me and who have given so much to me,” he said. “It’s just not fair. I let my parents down, and they’re the furthest thing from the person in that video.” 

This was not Wallen’s first major slip-up. He made headlines for all the wrong reasons just the year before.

Wallen was removed as the musical guest and host for “Saturday Night Live” in October.

In an Instagram video, Wallen said he received the call while in his New York City hotel room getting ready to perform. 

TikTok videos showed Wallen partying maskless in Tuscaloosa shortly after the Alabama-Texas A&M game. In light of the coronavirus, SNL producers decided to pull him from the show. However, he did perform later for the show on Dec. 5. 

Wallen again addressed the controversy over Instagram.Though the fate of Wallen’s career aside from the contract termination remains unknown, his now removed statement provides clarity to the situation he is in now.

“I think I have some growing up to do,” Wallen said. “I think I’ve lost myself a little bit. I’ve tried to find joy in the wrong places, and I don’t know, it’s left me with less joy.”