Morgan Wallen Deemed Ineligible for 2021 ACM Awards After Using the N-Word
Morgan Wallen likely would have been among the top nominees at the 2021 ACM Awards, but not anymore. The Academy of Country Music has ruled the singer ineligible for this year's awards show after he was caught on video using the N-word.
The ACM announced its decision on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 3), the latest in a swift string of actions taken against Wallen after TMZ shared video of the star using the racist slur on Tuesday night (Feb. 2).
In addition to now being ineligible for the 2021 ACM Awards, Wallen's "potential involvement" in the show has been axed.
"The Academy does not condone or support intolerance or behavior that doesn't align with our commitment and dedication to diversity and inclusion," the trade group's statement reads. The statement also notes plans to "expedite the offering of long-planned diversity training resources," the product of the ACM's Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which was established in 2018.
"As a result of this unprecedented situation, the Academy will be reviewing our awards eligibility and submission process," the statement concludes," ensuring our nominees consistently reflect the Academy's integrity."
In less than 24 hours, Wallen has had his record deal suspended indefinitely, and many radio companies have pulled his music from their stations. While Wallen's music can still be found on Spotify and Apple Music, he's been removed from every playlist except his own, while SiriusXM and Pandora have axed his music from their services. CMT and the Country Music Association have also taken Wallen-related content off their platforms.
The response from some artists has also been swift and decisive. Mickey Guyton, Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris immediately denounced the use of the N-word — or any racist slur — in any context.
The damning video, captured by a neighbor, shows Wallen arriving home after a night out and using the N-word as he says goodbye to a friend. The singer later acknowledged it is him in the video and apologized.
"I'm embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back," Wallen said in a statement to TMZ. "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."
Within the last year, Wallen has been arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct outside of Kid Rock's bar in Nashville and lost his spot as a performer on Saturday Night Live after violating the show's COVID-19 protocols by partying with University of Alabama students, maskless, only a few days before his scheduled appearance on the late-night sketch comedy TV show. Wallen issued public apologies both times; a judge declined to prosecute him on the charges, and he was invited back to SNL two months later.
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