Morgan Wallen Breaks His Silence About Racist Slur

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Morgan Wallen has spoken up for the first time since a video went public last week showing him hurling a racist slur.

The 27-year-old country star said he was “on hour 72 of a bender” when he was caught on camera calling someone a “p***y-a** n****r.”

Wallen, who claimed to be nine days sober, said: “There’s no reason to downplay what I did. I was wrong. It's on me to take ownership for this and I fully accept the penalties I'm facing.”

The singer was suspended from his record label, dropped from his agency and his songs were pulled from radio stations and some streaming services after the video was posted on TMZ. The Academy of Country Music Awards said it is pausing Wallen's “potential involvement and eligibility for this year's 56th Academy of Country Music Awards cycle.”

But, sales of Wallen’s new album – which is No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart for the fourth week – went up last week. (Jason Isbell, who wrote one song on the album, has promised to donate his earnings to the NAACP.)

“My words matter. My words can truly hurt a person and at my core, that's not what I'm okay with," Wallen said. “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.”

Wallen said he has accepted invitations from Black leaders to “learn and to grow” and the “timing of my return is solely upon me and the work I put in.”

MORE: Jason Isbell Giving Away Earnings From Morgan Wallen Track

This is not Wallen’s first mea culpa. Last May, he apologized after being arrested for disorderly conduct in Nashville, which he blamed on horseplay with friends “after a couple bar stops.” (The charge was dropped.)

Then, in October, the singer apologized after he was dropped as musical guest on SNL for flouting COVID-19 rules. “I have some growing up to do. I’ve lost myself a little bit,” he said at the time. “I’ve tried to find joy in the wrong places and, I don’t know, it’s left me with less joy. So I’m going to go try work on that. I’m going to take a step back from the spotlight for a little while and go work on myself. I’m gonna go work on me.” (SNL invited him back to perform on the Dec. 5 episode.)

In his video message on Wednesday, Wallen – who became a father last July – said he is going to try to “live down all the mistakes I’ve made.”

He added: “This entire situation is ugly right now but I'll keep searching for ways to become the example instead of being made one.”

Watch Wallen's full message below:

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