Morgan Wallen nominated at Billboard Music Awards but barred from show after using racial slur
Country singer Morgan Wallen is a finalist at the upcoming 2021 Billboard Music Awards ceremony, but he won’t be part of the show due to past conduct.
The full list of finalists for the upcoming award show was released Thursday, and the “Dangerous” singer is nominated six times across five categories.
However, due to the incident in which he was filmed saying a racial slur earlier this year, he will not be attending.
The award show’s producer, dick clark productions, issued a statement on the matter on Thursday.
“Unique among awards shows, Billboard Music Awards (BBMA) finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts, and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization,” the production company said in the statement, obtained by ABC News. “BBMA finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music (including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data.”
“With our content reaching millions of viewers, dcp and MRC have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry,” the statement continued. “Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting. As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting).”
The production company added that it’s “heartening and encouraging” to learn that the country singer is “taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work,” and resolved to consider him as a participant in the future.
Despite the swift backlash Wallen received from his label and talent agency, other award shows and more after using the racial slur, his second studio album, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” continued to achieve chart success well after the incident.
The album, released in January, spent a record-breaking 10 weeks atop the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.
The singer issued an apology for using the racial slur in February. In a video shared on his socials, he asked fans to stop defending his behavior.
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“One thing I’ve learned already that I’m specifically sorry for is that my words matter, that words can truly hurt a person, and at my core that’s not what I’m okay with,” he said. “I know what I’m going through this week doesn’t even compare to some of the trials I heard about from them.”
The BBMAs will take place on Sunday, May 23, airing from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Find the full list of finalists here.
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