Morgan Wallen: ‘I Was Never That Guy People Were Portraying Me To Be’
Morgan Wallen has opened up in a new interview in Billboard this week, and among the many subjects he touched on was the now infamous February 2021 incident where TMZ published a video of a drunk Morgan using a racial slur. At the time, the backlash was swift, with radio pulling his songs, his booking agency dropping him, and awards shows deciding against nominating him.
Fast forward almost three years, and Morgan, a 2023 CMA Entertainer of the Year nominee, has recovered with no real damage to his massive career. In November, he completed a huge stadium tour, selling out multiple nights in several cities.
Wallen told Billboard of the 2021 incident, “There’s no excuse. I’ve never made an excuse. I never will make an excuse.” Morgan said that he’s talked to many people and heard “stories about things” that he would have never thought about because “I wasn’t the one going through it.” He said that in his heart, he was “never that guy that people were portraying me to be.” Wallen also said that the whole thing made him “mad a little bit” because he knew he shouldn’t have said it, but he was “really not that guy.'”
Morgan admitted that he put himself in a “s— spot” and really “messed up.” He noted that if he was that guy, “I wouldn’t have cared” and “I wouldn’t have apologized.”
Wallen also told the publication that he learned from it “how much that people listen to me” and “how much my words matter.”
The 2021 incident wasn’t his first brush with trouble. In May 2020, he was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct at Kid Rock’s Nashville bar. That same year, Saturday Night Live revoked its invitation to perform after he violated the show’s COVID-19 safety protocols.
Nearly three years later, Morgan says, “That person is definitely not the same person I am now.”
Wallen also talked about the mass of his fame, saying he can’t do normal things like go to the grocery store. He also notes that he has to go through back doors to go to the doctor. He says he still tries to have as much normalcy as possible.
Morgan said adjusting to fame has been a challenge and that he has a new use for his hunting camo gear, wearing it and face paint at times so he can “sneak around” and not be recognized by fans. He isn’t complaining, though, saying that his life is all about playing shows and hanging out with his three-year-old son, and he is “happy as hell” with that.