Country star and The Voice alum Morgan Wallen was likely hoping to find a few new fans after booking the musical guest spot on Saturday Night Live this weekend. But Wallen might now be better known to audiences as the guy who blew a moment in the national spotlight for the sake of some pandemic partying.
TikTok videos showing the singer doing shots at a house party and kissing an unnamed woman — neither of them wearing masks, obviously — circulated widely over the weekend. That same weekend, SNL had returned to Studio 8H under strict COVID-19 safety procedures for the first full live broadcast since production shut down due to the pandemic.
Wallen posted a video for his 1.5 million Instagram followers on Wednesday saying he had been told he wouldn’t appear on this week’s show anymore, as a direct result of his behavior, and apologized to the SNL cast and crew as well as his own team for blowing the opportunity.
“I’m in New York City in a hotel room, I was getting ready for SNL this Saturday, and I got a call from the show letting me know I’ll no longer be able to play, and that’s because of COVID protocols, which I understand,” a subdued-looking Wallen said in the video. “I’m not positive for COVID, but my actions this past weekend were pretty short-sighted, and they’ve obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams.”
“I respect the show’s decision because I know that I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership for this,” he went on. “I’d like to apologize to SNL, to my fans, and to my team for bringing me these opportunities, and I let ’em down. And on a more personal note, I think I have some growing up to do, y’know, I think I’ve lost myself a little bit, I’ve tried to find joy in the wrong places, and I don’t know, it’s left me with less joy, so I’m gonna go try to work on that. I’m gonna take a step back from the spotlight for a little while and go work on myself. I wish I could have made country music and my fans proud this Saturday, but I respect the decision once again.”
Wallen went on to say that SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels “actually gave me a lot of encouragement” and promised to find another time for the singer to appear on the show.
NBC declined to comment on the record.
The videos appear to have been taken in bars around the University of Alabama, where the college’s football team beat rivals Texas A&M in a crucial game on Sunday.
Wallen was also arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct in May of this year outside Kid Rock’s Nashville bar, the Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock’n’Roll Steakhouse.
And let’s face it: When being arrested outside a bar owned by Kid Rock isn’t even the dumbest thing you do in a six-month period, taking some time to work on yourself is probably a good idea. We wish Wallen the best of luck.