Country musician Morgan Wallen continues to be the subject of controversy after earning public backlash for comments he was caught on camera making in early 2021. After he was confronted by fans about his comments, Morgan issued an apology and promised to pledge $500,000 to Black-led organizations.
Although his album "Dangerous: The Double Album" is nominated for album of the year, Billboard reports that if he wins, Morgan will not be allowed to accept his trophy. Why is Morgan Wallen banned from the CMA Awards, and what did he say that caused such a commotion? Here's everything we know so far.
Why is Morgan Wallen banned from the CMA Awards?
On Feb. 2, 2021, TMZ reported that on video from a Ring device that showed Morgan Wallen using a racial slur as he was coming home one evening. Immediately, fans began calling Morgan out for his racist language, and the musician was temporarily suspended from his music label, Big Loud/Republic.
In May 2021, the CMA Awards announced that they would allow Morgan, the previous New Artist of the Year, to be eligible for CMA nomination in categories such as single, song, album, musical event, and music video of the year. Their rationale behind this allowance was "so as not to limit the opportunity for other credited collaborators" per Billboard. However, Morgan would not be eligible for nomination in individual artist categories.
As of Sept. 30, 2021, the Los Angeles Times broke the news that despite his album receiving a nod for album of the year, Morgan will not be allowed to attend the CMA Awards, nor will he be allowed to perform, walk the red carpet, or accept an award at the show should he win.
"This is the first time in the history of the CMA, to my knowledge, anyone has ever been disqualified for conduct," CMA CEO Sarah Trahern told the LA Times. "Honoring him as an individual this year is not right, and he will not be allowed on the red carpet, on our stage, or be celebrated in any way."
What did Morgan Wallen say?
In the video reported by TMZ, Morgan can be heard shouting a racial slur at his friends, saying, "Take care of this p---y-a-- [n-word]." The public was swift to denounce his racist language, and in addition to being suspended by his record label, Morgan issued statements of apology, per People.
Morgan's statement at the time read, "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."
In addition to his apology, Morgan was to donate $500,000 to Black-led organizations, including the Black Music Action Coalition. However, as of September 2021, the musician has still not made good on his promise.
Fans hope that his suspension from music awards shows sets a no-tolerance policy when it comes to misconduct in the music industry.