Morgan Wallen's record label suspends his contract after singer's use of a racial slur on video
Morgan Wallen is facing swift consequences after a video surfaced of the country music singer using the N-word. Wallen's record label Big Loud, which releases his music jointly with Republic Records, announced Wednesday that the singer's recording contract would be suspended "indefinitely."
"In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen's recording contract indefinitely," the label wrote in a statement on social media. "Republic Records fully supports Big Loud's decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated."
Radio stations have also quickly begun pulling Wallen's music from the airwaves in the wake of the incident, which was broken on Tuesday night by TMZ. Cumulus Media, iHeartMedia, and Entercom, three of the biggest radio chains in the country, have all reportedly removed Wallen's songs from their playlists. This fallout comes as Wallen's album Dangerous: The Double Album, which had the biggest streaming week ever for a country album after its Jan. 8 release, has topped the Billboard 200 chart for three weeks running.
"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," a spokesperson for iHeartMedia told EW.
An Entercom spokesperson said, "In light of Morgan Wallen's recent use of a racial slur, we've discussed the incident with our Country brand leadership team and together have made the decision to remove Morgan's music from Entercom's playlists."
Representatives for Cumulus did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Wallen apologized for his behavior in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, saying, "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. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better."
In October, Wallen was dropped as Saturday Night Live's musical guest after videos surfaced of him breaking COVID-19 protocols by attending a crowded party in Alabama. Wallen apologized, saying his actions "were pretty short-sighted," and he was invited back to SNL two months later, even appearing in a sketch poking fun at his actions.
The new video also drew criticism from Wallen's fellow country musicians. In the wake of the video's release, Kelsea Ballerini wrote on Twitter, "The news out of Nashville tonight does not represent country music."
However, Maren Morris countered in a tweet, "It actually IS representative of our town because this isn't his first 'scuffle' and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless. We all know it wasn't his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse."
Added Mickey Guyton, one of the few major Black singers in current country music, "This is not his first time using that 'unacceptable' racial slur and we all known that. So what exactly are y'all going to do about it. Crickets won't work this time."