Tennessee country singer Morgan Wallen has apologized again for using racist language following the release of a video in which he was recorded using the N-word.
Wallen briefly apologized after the video was initially released. In a new video posted to his Instagram on Wednesday night, Wallen again apologized for his language and said he felt a more in-depth apology was “long overdue.”
He also asked his fans to stand down from defending his actions. “Don’t defend me,” Wallen said. “Please don’t.” He added, “I fully accept any penalties I’m facing.”
Wallen said that he’d started the process of becoming sober after the video was released. “The video you saw was me on hour 72 of 72 of a bender, and that’s not something I’m proud of,” he said.
“Since that video was taken, I’ve been sober for nine days,” Wallen said. “It’s not all that long at the time, but it’s enough to know the man in that video is not the man that I’m trying to be.”
Wallen said he’d taken time to meet with Black leaders following the incident, and to hear from them firsthand how his language was harmful. Wallen didn’t say who he’d met with specifically, only that he’d spoken with “some amazing Black organizations” who had “every right to step on my neck” but instead decided to help him learn from the experience.
“One thing I’ve learned already that I’m specifically sorry for is that my words matter, that words can truly hurt a person, and at my core that’s not what I’m OK with,” Wallen said in the video.
“This week, I heard firsthand some personal stories from Black people that honestly shook me,” he said. “And I know what I’m going through this week doesn’t even compare to some of the trials I heard about from them. I came away from those discussions with a deep appreciation for them and a clearer understanding of the weight of my words. I wish the circumstances were different for me to learn these things.”
After the video of him using the racial slur was released, Wallen’s career took a big hit. His recording contract with Big Loud Records was suspended Feb. 3 and he was scrubbed from CMT platforms. Wallen’s music was also pulled from the air by radio chain Cumulus Media following the incident.