Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton and More Country Stars React to Morgan Wallen Saying the N-Word
"The only way you become not an idiot is by learning why you are an idiot," Bobby Bones said on his show Wednesday
After being captured using the N-word in a video, the country community — including Mickey Guyton, Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris — is reacting to Morgan Wallen's apology and his use of the racial slur.
"The hate runs deep. Smfh," tweeted Guyton. "This is not his first time using that ' unacceptable' racial slur and we all known that. So what exactly are y'all going to do about it? Crickets won't work this time. How many passes will you continue to give? Asking for a friend. No one deserves to be canceled [but] this is unacceptable."
The 37-year-old later added, "Promises to do better don't mean s—."
Ballerini, 27, meanwhile, tweeted that "the news out of Nashville tonight does not represent country music." Several others, including Morris, 30, and Guyton disagreed.
"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," Morris wrote to her friend. "We all know it wasn't his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse."
"When I read comments saying 'this is not who we are' I laugh because this is exactly who country music is," added Guyton in her own tweet. "I've witnessed it for 10 gd 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."
She continued, "I love country music so much. There are amazing people in this genre behind the scenes and in front of the cameras that have kept me sane all these years. Those are the people we must keep reminding ourselves are out there and worth supporting and listening to. 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."
Country radio host Bobby Bones also spoke about the incident on his show, before iHeartMedia announced they'd remove Wallen's songs from the airplay. Bones said he emailed his show's producers to not play his songs while he "collected his thoughts."
"I don't even think this word. Like this word doesn't even come into my head," Bones said on his show. "And when someone uses it, it is so just disgusting to my insides. I don't quite understand."
"I like Morgan Wallen as a person. This, I don't like one bit," the 40-year-old added. "I'm also not a big cancel culture guy. But I am a go-away-for-a-while guy... He's got a lot of self-evaluation to do. A lot. I think he knows that... I am an advocate of Morgan going away for a while. But I'm also an advocate of him learning and coming back and being able to help others. The only way you become not an idiot is by learning why you are an idiot."
Bones continued by saying he didn't like "virtue-signaling" and he refused to put out a statement when asked if he wanted to do so.
"I would talk to him right now and say, 'Hey, what a dumb thing to do. You make country music look bad. You make me look bad. But mostly you make yourself look bad. And I don't like that for you, man,'" he said, explaining that the N-word "screams" racism.
"I'm hoping that Morgan takes care of it, learns, teaches others. And that isn't something that's gonna happen tomorrow," he added. "It's a weird feeling. It's a dichotomy. I'm completely pissed and disgusted. But also know that I like Morgan, I just can't like him for this. So I'll probably get beat up a little bit for having this talk on the air."
Bones wrapped up his thoughts by saying he'd "never stop loving" Wallen but agreed it was time for him to go away for a bit.
Other country stars had reactions of their own as well.
"I am completely disgusted by Morgan Wallen's words. To be that flippant and nonchalant while hurling the most offensive racial slur you could utter," Cassadee Pope wrote on Instagram, in addition to her early Wednesday tweets. "Some people just have ZERO sensitivity to a real f—ing problem in this world: racism."
"It has no place in country music and has been tolerated and enabled way too long," the 31-year-old continued. "And it has NO place in this world." (Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard, a close friend and colleague of Wallen's, commented, "Amen" on the post.)
"'I promise to do better' is how you address exercise and healthy eating habits to yourself...." tweeted Lauren Jenkins. "Not about hurling racial slurs."
"He will get another chance... boys will be boys, right!? Isn't that the get outta jail free card?" wrote Leah Turner. "The chances he's been given would never be given to a women and then he has the audacity to speak this way! Country music, do better."
"I was once drunk and immature enough to jump 30 feet off a pier into the ocean, but I've never been drunk enough to say a racial slur. Because alcohol and immaturity doesn't make you do that," added Kalie Shorr. "Racism does. F— this s—."
Jason Isbell wrote, "Wallen's behavior is 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 video of him using the N-word surfaced, Wallen apologized in a statement to PEOPLE.
"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," he said. "I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better."