Morgan Wallen Breaks His Silence After Using Racist Slur, Tells Fans Not to Defend Him: 'I Was Wrong'
On Wednesday, the country music star, 27, released a five-minute Instagram video addressing his use of the racial slur, urging fans not to defend him as he wants to "take ownership" for the offense.
"I'm long overdue to make a statement regarding my last incident. I wanted to collect my thoughts, seek some real guidance and come to you with a complete thought before I did," he began.
According to Wallen, the video that surfaced was taken during "a bender," which he said was "not something I'm proud of either."
"I let so many people down," he said. "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 continued, "So 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."
The "Whiskey Glasses" singer — whom the NAACP recently offered to meet with to educate him on why the N-word is hurtful — went on to say that he's "accepted some invitations from some amazing Black organizations, some executives and leaders to engage in some very real and honest conversations."
"I'll admit to you I was pretty nervous to accept those invitations," he said. "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, and they also paired that with an offer to learn and to grow."
For Wallen, their "kindness really inspired me to dig deeper on how to do something about this."
"And one thing I've learned already [and] is specifically sorry for is that it matters my words matter," he said. "A word can truly hurt a person and in my core, it's not what I'm okay with."
RELATED VIDEO: Morgan Wallen Says There Are 'No Excuses' After Video Surfaces of Singer Using the N-Word
Since the video, Wallen said he's heard "firsthand some personal stories from Black people that honestly shook me."
"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 clear understanding of the weight of my words," he continued. "I wish the circumstances were different for me to learn these things, but I'm also glad it started the process for me to do so."
"I've got many more things to learn, but I already know that I don't want to add to any division," Wallen said. "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."
Wallen, who's "been sober for nine days" since the video surfaced, added that fans should not defend his actions.
"I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me. But for today, please don't. I was wrong," he said. "I fully accept any penalties I'm facing."
"This entire situation is ugly right now, but I'll keep searching for ways to become the example instead of being made one," Wallen said.
After the video of his saying the racial slur surfaced, Wallen was "indefinitely" suspended from his label and his songs were removed from the two largest radio station groups iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, along with SiriusXM, Pandora and CMT.
Wallen previously issued an apology for his use of the racial slur, saying in a statement to PEOPLE, "I'm embarrassed and sorry."
"I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back," he said. "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."