Morgan Wallen Says He's Learned 'How Much My Words Matter'
Morgan Wallen wants the world to know that he was "never that guy that people were portraying me to be."
In a new interview with Billboard, 2023's biggest star in country music opens up about the 2021 incident in which he was caught on camera drunkenly saying the n-word. A neighbour shot the footage and handed it over to TMZ.
What should have been a career-ending 37-second video for a rising country singer, ended up, somehow, making him one of the genre's best-selling artists after his fans decided to stand by him and forgive his behaviour.
Wallen admits the ordeal made him realize “just how much that people listen to me. I don’t think I realized that, at least not at that grand of a scale at the time,” he admits. “I [learned] how much my words matter.”
He believes he has changed in the almost three years that has passed. “That person is definitely not the same person I am now.”
But he also continues to accept the responsibility that came with his mistake, and what that did to the fans who chose to abandon him, and even more importantly, to the African-American community.
“There’s no excuse. I’ve never made an excuse. I never will make an excuse,” he says of using the racial slur. “I’ve talked to a lot of people, heard stories [about] things that I would have never thought about because I wasn’t the one going through it. And I think, for me, in my heart I was never that guy that people were portraying me to be, so there was a little bit of like, ‘Damn, I’m kind of actually mad about this a little bit because I know I shouldn’t have said this, but I’m really not that guy.’ I put myself in just such a s**t spot, you know? Like, ‘You really messed up here, guy.’ If I was that guy, then I wouldn’t have cared. I wouldn’t have apologized. I wouldn’t have done any of that if I really was that guy that people were saying about me.”
The article mentions that Wallen has sought to educate himself and learn from his mistake, such as meeting with Black leaders like 300 Elektra Entertainment chairman/CEO Kevin Liles, Universal Music Group executive vp/chief people and inclusion officer Eric Hutcherson, Grammy-winning gospel artist Bebe Winans, and the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), as he tries “to learn and try to be better."
You can read the full cover story here.
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