Morgan Wallen has issued a more than five-minute video apology on his Instagram account, saying that the reason for the delay was that he wanted to issue personal apologies and meet with Black leaders before making more of a statement than he did the night the scandal over his uttering a racial slur broke last week.
“I decided to go off the grid for a little while and get used to making good decisions,” he says in the mea culpa.”Who knows if I’ll be able to live down all the mistakes I made, but I’m certainly going to try. I’m going to spend some time taking back control of my living healthy and being proud of my actions.
“And lastly,” he adds, “I have one favor to ask. I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me. But for today, please. I was wrong. So let me take ownership for this and I fully accept any penalties I’m facing. The timing of my return is solely upon me and the work I put in. I still have a lot of really good people in my corner trying to help me…. This entire situation is ugly right now, but I’ll keep searching for ways to become the example instead of being made one.”
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Wallen said that when he first was coming up with an apology for TMZ, knowing that the site was about to publish the video of him saying the N-word to his friends, “I wrote many detailed thoughts, and only a portion of those got used, which painted me in an even more careless light.”
Other than that, Wallen doesn’t make excuses for his actions. “The video you saw was me on hour 72 of a 72-hour bender, and that’s not someone I’m proud of,” he says.
One thing he says he didn’t want to do is be hasty with his apology, or go on an apology tour and “continue to apologize further because you got caught—and that’s not what I wanted to do.”
“I let so many people down… 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.”
He continued, “This week I’ve been waiting to say anything further until I got the chance to apologize to those closest to me that I knew I personally hurt. I also accepted some invitations from some amazing Black organizations and executives and leaders to engage in some very real and honest conversations. I’ll admit to y’all I was pretty nervous to accept those invitations from the very people I hurt and they had every right to step on my neck while I was down, to not show me any grace. But they did the exact opposite; they offered me grace. I’ll be honest with you, that kindness really inspired me to dig deeper.
“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 okay with.
“This week I heard firsthand some personal stories from Black people that honestly shook me. An 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.”
Says Wallen, “I already know that I don’t want to add to any division. This week was a big lesson that sometimes we can do just that without even knowing. Our actions matter, our words matter, and I just want to encourage anyone watching to please learn from my mistake. There’s no reason to downplay what I did. It matters. And please know I’m carefully choosing my next steps…”
The country star says he has been sober since the night the video was brought to light — and acknowledges that may not yet mean a lot in the scale of things.
“I want to end this update hopefully on a more positive note. Since that video was taken, I’ve been sober for nine days. 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,” he says.
Wallen wraps up his message with a familiar biblical quotation: “I’m not trying to be a holy roller any time, but this week I remembered a passage from Paul that always stood out to me, and I’m thinking maybe a moment like this is why. In 1 Corinthians 13:11, it says, ‘When I was a child, I spoke like a child, like a child, reasoned like a child. And when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.’
“That’s what I will be doing the next little bit.”
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