Morgan Wallen Says His Use of a Racial Slur Was "Playful"
Published Jul 23, 2021After being caught on video using a racial slur earlier this year, country music singer Morgan Wallen has appeared for his first major interview since the incident occurred back in February.
Speaking with Michael Strahan on ABC's Good Morning America, Wallen attempted to explain that his use of the n-word against his white friend was meant "playfully" and chalked the incident up to a night of heavy drinking.
"We say dumb stuff together," Wallen said. "In our minds it was just playful. That sounds ignorant but that's really where it came from. It was wrong. We were all clearly drunk. I was asking his girlfriend to take care of him."
When asked if he understands the impact of using the slur on the Black community, Wallen repeated that he was using it "playfully," admitting that he felt ignorant to its history.
"I don't know how to put myself in their shoes because I'm not, you know, but I do understand," Wallen said. "Especially when I say that I'm using it playfully, or whatever, ignorantly, I understand that must sound like 'He doesn't understand.'"
The country singer added that he decided to check into rehab in San Diego for 30 days after the video surfaced "to try to figure it out. Why am I acting this way? Do I have an alcohol problem? Do I have a deeper issue?"
In the days following the incident, and after having his music removed from radio stations, Wallen's record sales tripled. Despite asking his fans to stop defending him, Wallen took a break from a self-imposed hiatus to perform at Kid Rock's notoriously messy Honky Tonk bar.
Wallen and his team now estimated that his surge in popularity amounted to roughly $500,000 USD, which he says he intends to donate to the Black Music Action Coalition.
Watch the interview below.