The 27-year-old singer was criticized for drinking and kissing several women while partying on his trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala. According to multiple videos on TikTok, the "Whiskey Glass" singer didn't practice any social distancing and ignored COVID-19 guidelines.
"I’ve seen like 87 TikToks similar to this one. Morgan Wallen belongs to the streets," a person tweeted a clip of Wallen, where he could be seen taking a shot and planting a smooch on a mysterious lady.
“Let us take a moment to recognize that Morgan Wallen is a total dirt bag. Most of the girls in this video are 19 years old. As a reminder, he is 27 with a baby. Round of applause, dude," another person wrote about Wallen, who shares 2-month-old son Indigo Wilder with ex-fiancée, Katie Smith.
Wallen later announced on his Instagram that he wouldn't be appearing on the comedy sketch show.
"My actions from this past weekend were pretty short-sighted, and have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams," Wallen said in an Instagram video while noting that he got a call from SNL producers telling him he can’t play on the show due to COVID-19 protocols.
In the Instagram video, Wallen owned up to his mistakes.
"I apologize to SNL, to my fans, to my team, for bringing me these opportunities, and I let them down," the country singer said. "On a personal note, I think I have some growing up to do. I think I’ve lost myself a little but I've tried to find joy in the wrong places, and it's left me with less joy. So I'm gonna go try to work on that."
"I'm gonna take a step back from the the spotlight for a little while and work on myself," he continued. "I wish I could’ve made country music and my fans proud this Saturday, but I respect the decision. Lorne Michaels actually gave me a lot of encouragement and let me know, 'We’ll find another time to make this up,'" Wallen said, referring to SNL's longtime executive producer. "So that means a lot to me."
"I know I’m taking some heat — a lot of heat — online, but I wanted you guys to know that your messages of encouragement haven’t gotten unnoticed either," he concluded. "It may be a second before you hear from me but I’m going to go work on me ... I love you."
Saturday Night Live suspended in-person production of the show due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in March. The show made a return on Saturday, October 3, at Rockefeller Center in New York City with a live audience for the first time in seven months.
People present at the show had to undergo rapid COVID-19 testing and were directed to wear masks. According to city guidelines, media productions can only have an audience if the producers pay them. According to The New York Times, SNL audience members were given a $150 check when they left the show.