“I’m long overdue to make a statement regarding my last incident. I wanted to collect my thoughts, seek some real guidance and come to you with a complete thought before I did,” the 27-year-old country singer began on Wednesday, February 10, via Instagram.
Wallen went on to reveal that the video of him telling his friend to “take care of this p–sy-ass n–ga” — published by TMZ on February 2 — was taken when he was on a 72-hour “bender.”
“I let so many people down,” he said. “I let my parents down and they’re the furthest thing from … the person in that video. I let my son down, and I’m not OK with that.”
The “More Than My Hometown” crooner noted he was “nine days sober” in light of the controversy, which came after his October 2020 performance on Saturday Night Live was canceled after he broke coronavirus protocols to party without a mask in Alabama. (SNL gave Wallen a second chance to perform on the show in December 2020.)
“It’s not all that long of a time, but it’s enough to know the man in that video is not the man that I’m trying to be,” Wallen explained. “I’ve had this week to think about times when I was sober, and I’m really proud of who I am and my actions, for the most part, in those moments. When I look on the times that I’m not, it seems to be where the majority of my mistakes are made. So, I decided to go off the grid for a little while and get used to making good decisions. I want my team, my family, my friends and even strangers to trust me. Hell, I want to trust me. Who knows if I’ll be able to live down all the mistakes I’ve made, but I’m certainly going to try. I’m going to spend some time taking back control of my habit, living healthy and being proud of my actions.”
Wallen, who urged fans to stop defending his behavior, added that he recently “accepted some invitations from some amazing Black organizations, some executives and leaders to engage in some very real and honest conversations.”
He continued: “I’ll admit to you I was pretty nervous to accept those invitations. They had every right to step on my neck while I was down, to not show me any grace. But they did the exact opposite — they offered me grace, and they also paired that with an offer to learn and to grow.”
The Nashville branch of the NAACP previously offered to educate Wallen to have a “conversation” about why the N-Word is so “hurtful.”
On Wednesday Wallen acknowledged, ”One thing I’ve learned already [and] is specifically sorry for is that it matters. My words matter. A word can truly hurt a person and in my core, it’s not what I’m OK with.”
Not long after the video of Wallen surfaced, Big Loud Records announced his recording contract was suspended “indefinitely.” Wallen’s music was also dropped by several radio stations with his second album, Dangerous: The Double Album, removed from Apple Music and Spotify’s country pages and playlists. The Academy of Country Music later announced that his “potential involvement and eligibility” for the upcoming 56th Academy of Country Music Awards was halted.