Morgan Wallen gave his first interview months after the country star was caught on camera using a racial slur.
During an interview on “Good Morning America,” the 28-year-old owned up to his mistake and shared how his education on the dark and deep-rooted history of the N-word has made him less ignorant and a better human being altogether.
“I understand that … I’m not ever gonna make everyone happy,” Wallen told host Michael Strahan. “I can only come tell my truth.”
According to Wallen, he decided to use the slur when he’d been partying all weekend with some longtime friends. At that unfortunate moment, he was coming off what he described as a “72-hour bender” when TMZ received and published the video of him using the word.
“I was around some of my friends, and we say dumb stuff together,” Wallen confessed Strahan. He added that he does not use the word “frequently” and that he “didn’t mean it in any derogatory manner.”
“In our minds, it’s playful,” Wallen said. “That sounds ignorant, but that’s really where it came from.” For Wallen, he never meant the use of the word to be diminishing or derogatory. He confessed wholeheartedly that it was a moment of ignorance.
Morgan Wallen Makes Strides To Educate Himself & Learn From His Mistakes
During the interview, Strahan offered Wallen his personal insight into the word, explaining what it was like for him to be defined by the slur.
“[It] makes you mad, makes you angry, doesn’t make you feel good at all,” Strahan tells Wallen. “So, do you understand why it makes Black people so upset?”
“I don’t know how to put myself in their shoes because I’m not [Black] …,” Wallen answered. “I understand that that must sound like, ‘He doesn’t understand.'”
In the interview, Morgan Wallen also noted some of the remedying he’d done in the months he’d been away from the country music scene.
Working on educating himself about Black history and culture, Wallen met with the Black Music Action Coalition members. He also met with record executive Kevin Liles, gospel singer BeBe Winans, and Universal Music Group’s Executive Vice President and inclusion officer Eric Hutcherson.
He also says he and his team estimated the money he made when sales of his music spiked after the video’s release. They calculated it to be about $500,000. As a result, he donated the same amount to BMAC and other organizations he did not name.
In April, the musician took to social media to swiftly condemn the use of the word. He issued a handwritten apology to fans and revealed he would be taking a break from performing this summer.
“I have felt a lot of love lately from so many people I haven’t gotten to know yet,” Wallen began while commending his fans who stood behind him. “I know my corner hasn’t been the most popular one to stand in recently, but many of you did anyway.”