Morgan Wallen ineligible for 2021 ACM Awards following video of singer using racial slur
Repercussions for country singer Morgan Wallen continue to grow after he was caught on video using the N-word. Shortly after Wallen's record label suspended his contract, the Academy of Country Music has deemed the 27-year-old ineligible for this year's ACM Awards.
Based on the Academy's statement, released Wednesday night, it seems the ban on eligibility is just for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards cycle. However, the organization called this an "unprecedented situation" and committed to "reviewing our awards eligibility and submission process, ensuring our nominees consistently reflect the Academy's integrity."
"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. We have made his management team aware of this decision," the statement reads. "The Academy does not condone or support intolerance or behavior that doesn't align with our commitment and dedication to diversity and inclusion. In the coming weeks, the Academy will expedite the offering of long-planned diversity training resources for our ACM Membership, Board, Staff, and the Country Music artist community, made available through out Diversity + Inclusion Task Force, established in 2018. As a result of this unprecedented situation, the Academy will be reviewing our awards eligibility and submission process, ensuring our nominees consistently reflect the Academy's integrity."
Wallen seemed likely to garner multiple nominations for ACM Awards after he had been nominated for new male artist of the year at the 55th ceremony. His album Dangerous: The Double Album would not have been eligible for this year's awards, anyway, since it was released in January after the December cut-off. But songs "More Than My Hometown" and "7 Summers" would have been.
"More Than My Hometown" landed four consecutive No. 1 spots on Billboard's Country Airplay chart. "7 Summers" also did well, topping the airplay-, streaming-, and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart after its debut.
In a video obtained by TMZ, a rowdy Wallen arrives at his home from a night out with some friends. After honking horns and talking loudly, they garnered the attention of neighbors, who recorded Wallen using the N-word to describe one of his drunken buddies.
"I'm embarrassed and sorry," Wallen said in 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."
In the days that followed, Wallen's label, Big Loud Records, announced it would "suspend Morgan Wallen's recording contract indefinitely." The Country Music Association also decided to remove the singer's digital content from its platforms.
"We will confer further with out Board of Directors to review additional measures and will continue to examine our industry's inclusivity efforts," reads a statement from the CMA.
iHeartMedia and Entercom also pulled his music from their radio stations, according to Billboard.