In his first interview with a news outlet since his racial-slur scandal broke six months ago, country superstar Morgan Wallen told “Good Morning America” co-host Michael Strahan that his use of the N-word was the result of being in a drunken climate with friends where they “say dumb stuff together,” and was not meant “in any derogatory manner at all.” He said that in the wake of the furor, he spent 30 days in rehab and has donated $500,000 to Black charities.
Of his “Dangerous: The Double Album” release, which has turned out to be the most popular album in all of music this year, Wallen said, “Before this incident my album was already doing well,” but “me and my team noticed that whenever this whole incident happened, that there was a spike in my sales. So we tried to calculate what the number of how much it spiked from this incident, and we got to a number somewhere around $500,000, and we decided to donate that money to some organizations, BMAC being the first one.”
Wallen only cited the Black Music Action Coalition as a recipient of his donations. Earlier in the segment, he said that the BMAC was one of the Black people or organizations he met with after the scandal broke, also mentioning 300 Entertainment CO Kevin Liles; Eric Hutcherson, Universal Music Group’s executive VP, chief people and inclusion officer; and gospel star BeBe Winans.
“GMA” said that the BMAC, which describes itself as “an advocacy organization formed to address systemic racism within the music business,” had not returned the program’s request for comment on the donation or any meeting.
Watch the full segment, below.
Wallen said that after the incident, he was “trying to figure out, do I have an alcohol problem? Do I have a deeper issue?” The singer wasn’t seen going into any detail about whether he’d developed answers to that in the heavily edited, seven-and-a-half-minute interview segment, but said he “Went and checked myself into rehab” and for 30 days “spent some time in San Diego,” presumably the home of the rehab facility.
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SOURCE: Variety, Chris Willman