Controversial Country Star Morgan Wallen Not Invited To Billboard Music Awards Due To 'Recent Conduct'
Despite landing six nominations in five categories at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, Morgan Wallen will not perform, present or accept any awards at the ceremony.
His dismissal from the show comes after the 27-year-old was caught earlier this year on video using a racial slur, in footage obtained by TMZ.
"I’m embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better," Wallen told TMZ at the time.
Dick Clark Productions released a statement on Thursday, April 29, to explain why Wallen is a BBMA finalist but will not be participating.
"Unique among awards shows, Billboard Music Awards (BBMA) finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard charts, and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization. BBMA finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music (including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data," the statement began.
"With our content reaching millions of viewers, dcp and MRC have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry.
"Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting. As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity," the statement continued.
"It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work. We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows," the statement concluded.
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"I let so many people down," Wallen had said in an apology video. "I let my parents down and they're the furthest thing from the person in that video. I let my son down, and I'm not okay with that."
Wallen has since been speaking with Black-led organizations and working to education himself on racism. "That kindness really inspired me to dig deeper on how to do something about this. And one thing I've learned already [and] I'm specifically sorry for is that it matters," he said.
Earlier this month, Wallen posted a handwritten statement online to thank those who stuck by him and said he has been "making my amends" but will not play any concerts or festivals this summer.
"When I made the music [Dangerous], it was important to me that I wrote songs that were authentic, + some of them even let you in on my story. Before the music came out, I was proud of it. I felt fulfilled. As a musician that is the best feeling in the world, being happy with your music before fans even hear it," he wrote.
This is not the only award show to distance themselves from the "Wasted On You" singer. Days after the video emerged in February, the Academy of Country Music announced that Wallen would not appear on the 56th Annual ACM Awards and that he was declared ineligible to compete, as the awards are based on the academy voting members' preferences.
Wallen was also reportedly suspended indefinitely from Big Loud Records and dropped from WME. His music was removed from Sirius XM, Pandora and radio stations owned by iHeartMedia, Entercom and Cumulus Media.