Only a few hours after a video of Morgan Wallen using a racial slur emerged on TMZ, radio stations have reacted swiftly. iHeartMedia, the largest radio station group in the country, has pulled his his music.
“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,” an iHeart spokesperson told Billboard.
Cumulus Media has pulled the rising country super’s music from its more than 400 stations, according to Variety.
Other stations are watching the situation. A representative for Cox Media Group said it was monitoring the situation and had no further comment, while Nate Deaton of KRTY, San Jose, Calif., told Billboard his station had suspended Wallen’s play.
Billboard has reached out to a number of other outlets, including digital service providers and CMT.
It’s a stunning—if perhaps momentary— fall from grace for Wallen, whose album Dangerous: The Double Album is spending its third week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The 30-track album, released by Big Loud Records in partnership with Republic Records, logged the largest streaming week ever for a country album following its Jan. 8 release. Wallen has scored four consecutive No. 1s on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, with current single, “7 Summers,” sitting at No. 15.
Tuesday night (Feb. 2) TMZ posted a video recorded over the weekend of Wallen yelling expletives, including the N-word. In the clip, Wallen is seen arriving home with some friends and he advises his pals, who are getting into another car, to “take care” of his buddy twice, adding profanities, including the N-word, at the end.
Wallen offered an apology to TMZ, taking responsibility for his words uttered in the grainy video.
“I’m embarrassed and sorry,” Wallen told TMZ via a statement. “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.”
A number of country artists, including Mickey Guyton, Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini, took to Twitter to condemn condemned Wallen’s actions, as he quickly became a trending topic on the social media platform.
This is the third time in 10 months that Wallen has had to make a public apology for his behavior. Last May, he was arrested and charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct after being kicked out of Kid Rock’s bar in Nashville. The charges were subsequently dropped.
In October, he posted an Instagram apology after his Saturday Night Live performance was canceled when he didn’t follow proper COVID-19 protocols. He later appeared on the comedy show in December.
Wallen and Big Loud’s representative told Billboard they have a statement coming shortly.