Why did 2021 ACM Awards disqualify Morgan Wallen? Ugly boycott row after singer hurled N-word in drunken rant
CMA ruled Wallen ineligible for the 56th ACM Awards, forcing the singer to cancel his summer tours to 'work on himself' after a video of him went viral
Country singer Morgan Wallen continues to face massive repercussions after a drunken video of his emerged in February this year. Not only has he lost his contract with Big Loud Records, but he is now facing a boycott by the Country Music Association (CMA). The CMA ruled Wallen ineligible for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards.
Prior to the ban, Wallen was expected to win big at the awards for his songs 'More Than My Hometown' and '7 Summers'. Both songs did exceptionally well over the last year. 'More Than My Hometown' landed four consecutive No. 1 spots on Billboard's Country Airplay chart. After its debut, '7 Summers' topped the airplay, streaming and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart. However, the CMA has decided that Wallen's success cannot overshadow his controversy. The shocking incident has forced Wallen to not just face the music, but to truly reexamine himself. Here's how Wallen went from a much-loved star to a victim of cancel culture within days.
Racist rant caught on camera
In February, TMZ obtained a video of Wallen returning home from a night out. As he walked up the driveway, he can be heard hurling a variety of profanities at his friends. Wallen and his friends returned from a night out in Nashville, honking and screaming loudly in the neighborhood just after midnight. They were so loud that neighbors began recording their antics. Videos captured show Wallen walking up his driveway, ranting profanities at an unknown person.
"Take care of this "p****-a** mother******". He then goes on to say, "take care of this p***y-a** n-". He then stumbles up the stairs to his house. The videos have since gone viral, leading to massive backlash. He told TMZ, "I’m embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better."
Those promises though clearly weren't enough. Within days, Big Loud Records said it would "suspend Morgan Wallen's recording contract indefinitely." Billboard also reported that iHeartMedia and Entercom have pulled Wallen's music from their stations and playlists. Apple, Spotify and others followed suit. The CMA also removed all of his music from their platforms.
The CMA issued a statement on Twitter that it was boycotting Wallen on February 3. "The Academy of Country Music will halt Morgan Wallen's potential involvement and eligibility for this year's 56th Academy of Country Music Awards cycle", they said. The CMA also said that it would "expedite the offering of long-planned diversity training resources for our ACM Membership, Board, Staff, and the Country Music artist community."
Wallen on a break
The scandal has forced Wallen out of public life for the time being. In a four-page handwritten note on Instagram, the singer said, "I've taken a couple months away and feel like I've really worked on myself. I'm proud of the work I've put in, and in many ways thankful to have had the time to do it. I've needed this time off." He also announced that he would not be touring this summer, but urged fans to attend the shows and support Country music.
Despite the controversy, it seems fans have forgiven Wallen. Billboard reported that 'Dangerous: The Double Album' spent its first 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in March. Wallen made history with the album becoming the first to do so since 1987. A pro-Wallen billboard was also spotted in Nashville, slamming the CMA boycott. Nonetheless, the boycotts have forced Wallen to shelve public life for now.