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Morgan Wallen is speaking out for the first time to address the controversial video shared last week showing the singer using a racial slur.
On Wednesday, the country singer admitted that his statement was “long overdue” and he was taking the time to collect his thoughts, “seek some real guidance” and hoped to come to everyone with a “complete thought” before saying anything.
He explains that he was made aware of the video that posted on TMZ shortly before it was shared and only “a portion” of his words that he expressed in his apology were used which he says “painted me in an even more careless light.”
In the video that circulated online, Wallen is seen arriving home with some friends and overheard yelling profanities, including the N-word.
“The video you saw was me on hour 72 of a bender and that’s not something I’m proud of either,” he says of his behavior shown. “Obviously the natural thing to do is apologize further and just continue to apologize but because you got caught and that’s not what I wanted to do.”
He goes on to say that he is aware he has “let so many people down,” including his parents and son.
Following the video, Wallen explained that he has accepted invitations from Black organizations, executives and leaders to have open and honest conversations. “They offered me grace and they also paired that with an offer to learn and to grow,” he said.
“My words matter. My words can truly hurt a person and at my core, that’s not what I’m okay with,” he continued. “I wish the circumstances were different for me to learn these things but I’m also glad it started the process for me to do so.”
Despite the singer getting called out for his actions, Wallen asked fans not to “downplay” what he did. “Our actions matter. Our words matter. And I want to encourage anyone that is watching to please learn from my mistake. There’s no reason to downplay what I did,” he said.
“I was wrong. It’s on me to take ownership for this and I fully accept the penalties I’m facing. The timing of my return is solely upon me and the work I put in… This entire situation is ugly right now but I’ll keep searching for ways to become the example instead of being made one.”
The country singer has faced a myriad of consequences after the video.
Following the video’s release, the singer’s recording contract with Big Loud Records was suspended indefinitely. Shortly after, CMT announced that it was removing the singer’s appearances from its platforms. Then in a statement shared on Twitter, the Academy of Country Music Awards announced that it would halt Wallen’s “potential involvement and eligibility for this year’s 56th Academy of Country Music Awards cycle.”
IHeart Media also pulled Wallen’s music and content from its stations, while SiriusXM and Pandora removed the singer’s music from its playlists, according to a spokesman for SiriusXM. Wallen was also recently dropped by WME.
“Who knows if I’ll be able to live down all the mistakes I’ve made but I’m certainly going to try. I’m going to spend some time taking back controls in my habit living healthy and being proud of my actions,” he said, also announcing that he’s nine days sober.
Watch Wallen’s full video below.
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