In the wake of a video being shared online which shows Morgan Wallen using a racial slur, the country music industry and community has largely distanced itself from him.
His music has been pulled from Cumulus and iHeartMedia in the United States, his record label Big Loud Records / Republic have suspended him indefinitely, and major streaming services have removed his songs from prominent and major playlists. He’s been barred from eligibility for the ACM Awards, and CMT posted a statement saying they were in the process of removing his appearances from all of their platforms too. These are significant actions indeed and a huge step towards making it known there is zero tolerance for racism in country music in 2021.
However, in the days since the news of the scandal first breaking, Wallen has seen sales his music skyrocket. As SavingCountryMusic.com reports, “four of the five top titles in all of music on the iTunes charts are Morgan Wallen selections.” His most recent album, Dangerous: The Double Album (which was already breaking streaming records) remains at number one, and his 2018 album If I Know Me now sits at #2.
This could be due to the streaming services’ actions against Wallen, and fans’ fears that his music may be removed from these platforms altogether. It could also be fans rallying behind Wallen as the social discussion continues in regards to how to handle stars who behave badly. In a thread on Twitter, rising country star Mickey Guyton offered her own thoughts as a black woman in country music, saying that while “Morgan must feel the weight of his words,” she does not believe in cancel culture.
“I do not believe in cancel culture. Watching anyone fall from grace is a terrible thing to see. People must all be given a chance to change. Morgan must feel the weight of his words but completely throwing someone away is detrimental to anyone’s mental health,” Guyton said.
Read our in-depth interview with Morgan Wallen here.