Even though Morgan Wallen was banned from performing at awards shows starting in early 2021 because of the racial slur he was caught on tape saying outside of his home in Nashville in February 2021, he still remained on top of the Billboard album charts with his project Dangerous.
And now, it seems his ban from award shows has been lifted: he was just announced as a performer at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards” (BBMAs), which will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 15 at 8 PM ET on NBC.
According to Billboard, MRC Live & Alternative, which produces the BBMA, said the decision to book Wallen followed extensive internal discussions by “a dedicated group of diverse staffers at MRC.” They noted, “We oppose discrimination, harassment, or racism of any kind. We believe in treating everyone with dignity and respect. After a thorough review and robust discussions internally and with the artist’s team, in which we found a demonstrated and ongoing commitment to meaningful work and outreach, we extended an invitation to participate in this year’s show.”
Meanwhile, in an internal memo reviewed by Billboard, MRC said in part, “Born out of our racial equity work at MRC, a team led by diverse colleagues created an internal process to review if our content aligns with our stated diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives. We ran this process last year with regard to Mr. Wallen and again this year which resulted in a different decision.”
The memo continued, saying that the team’s recent research on the artist “found that there were meaningful and significant efforts toward understanding and redemption, as well as an ongoing commitment to additional work.”
Additions to the performance lineup include Florence + The Machine, Maxwell, and Silk Sonic.