Jason Isbell: ‘Morgan Wallen’s Behavior Is Disgusting and Horrifying’

Jason Isbell, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton and Cassadee Pope were among the country artists to condemn Morgan Wallen after the singer was caught on video uttering a racial slur.

Wallen, whose new LP Dangerous: The Double Album has spent three straight weeks atop the Rolling Stone Top 200 album chart, was swiftly dropped from radio playlists, while his label Big Loud suspended the singer “indefinitely.”

Isbell — an artist Wallen admires and whose track “Cover Me Up” Wallen covered on Dangerous — called Wallen’s behavior in the video “disgusting and horrifying. I think this is an opportunity for the country music industry to give that spot to somebody who deserves it, and there are lots of black artists who deserve it.”

After the Wallen video spread, country singer Kelsea Ballerini tweeted, “The news out of Nashville tonight does not represent country music.” While not referring to Ballerini’s tweet specifically, Morris wrote of the Wallen incident, “It actually IS representative of our town because this isn’t his first “scuffle” and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless. We all know it wasn’t his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”

Commenting on a news story of Wallen’s racial slur use, Mickey Guyton wrote, “The hate runs deep… How many passes will you continue to give? Asking for a friend. No one deserves to be canceled [but] this is unacceptable … This is not his first time using that ‘unacceptable’ racial slur and we all [know] that. So what exactly are y’all going to do about it. Crickets won’t work this time.”

Guyton, a black country artist, continued, “When I read comments saying “this is not who we are” I laugh because this is exactly who country music is. I’ve witnessed it for 10 [goddamn] years. You guys should just read some of the vile comments hurled at me on a daily basis. It’s a cold hard truth to face but it is the truth. And lastly, I do not believe in cancel culture. Watching anyone fall from grace is a terrible thing to see. People must all be given a chance to change. Morgan must feel the weight of his words but completely throwing someone away is detrimental to anyone’s mental health.”

Cassadee Pope tweeted, “I’m disgusted. What happened does NOT represent all of country music. ‘Sorry’ is only as heavy as its actions weigh. Let’s see if it carries what it should in days to come. I believe in change, but not if it’s performative. Time for someone to read a fucking book… Let me reiterate. The news about Morgan that broke does not represent ‘ALL’ of country music. As you can see, it represents some. It’s disgraceful has to change.”