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Morgan Wallen invited by NAACP for education on slur as support for the singer grows


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FILE – In this June 5, 2019, file photo, Morgan Wallen arrives at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Wallen has been dropped from performing on “Saturday Night Live” after breaking the show’s COVID-19 protocols. The country singer posted a two-plus minute video on social media Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, about the show’s decision. He apologized after he was shown on TikTok socializing mask less at a crowded bar and house party this past weekend in Alabama. (AP Photo/Sanford Myers, File)

AP

Support for country music singer Morgan Wallen is growing after he was heard in a viral video saying a racial slur.

Meanwhile, various organizations have reached out to Wallen to educate him on his words, which ultimately led to him being suspended from his label and removed from country music radio.

Wallen, whose album “Dangerous” has topped the Billboard chart for three consecutive weeks, was seen calling one of his friends the N-word in a clip shared by TMZ. He apologized for his words, calling it “unacceptable and inappropriate.”

His comments have been called “atrocious and wrong” by Sheryl Guinn, president of Nashville’s NAACP branch.

“This term has an ugly history and Morgan Wallen should be aware of that and work to eradicate its use,” Guinn said in a statement to McClatchy News. “I offered to educate him on this matter, but it does not exonerate accountability on his part. He must be held responsible for his egregious comments.”

Broadcast Music, Inc., which represents songwriters in various genres, also released a statement condemning “the hateful and offensive racial slur.” Like the NAACP, it plans on reaching out to Wallen.

“We have asked BMI’s advisor and gospel legend, BeBe Winans, to reach out to Morgan to help him understand the gravity and impact of his words,” BMI said in a statement Thursday. “Our hope is that BeBe’s outreach can help Morgan become a more inclusive and empathetic person.”

Earlier in the week, Big Loud Records announced it had suspended Wallen’s recording contract indefinitely. Cumulus Media, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM and Pandora were among the services to remove Wallen’s content from their stations, with Spotify and Apple Music removing his songs from their curated country playlists, McClatchy News reported.

But his music remains available to play on the streaming services, and his fans continue to support the popular artist. Wallen had 10 songs in the top 30 on Apple Music’s Top 100 chart Friday morning, which updates daily to show the most-played songs in the United States.

He also had six songs in the top 10 in iTunes’ chart for purchased songs, and three of the top five albums.

So while his radio airplay decreased 71% Feb. 3, according to Billboard, his albums sold 339% more copies that day than Feb. 2.

Wallen has not commented on the situation since Tuesday night after TMZ first posted the clip.

Mike Stunson covers real-time news for McClatchy. He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter and the Lexington Herald-Leader as a breaking news reporter.
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