After rising country star Morgan Wallen was videotaped behaving badly while drunk, he issued a statement saying, “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.” But of course, this is 2021, so that wasn’t good enough. His radio airplay dropped 71%, and his record label, streaming services and the ACM Awards all turned their backs on him.
But then, a strange thing happened: his record sales leaped more than 300%.
I’m sure this will be used as another excuse for the left to paint all Americans who like country music as racist white supremacists supporting racist white supremacy. And maybe there are a few people who bought his music for that reason.
But I suspect the real reason is not because they were showing support for using a racial slur, but because they are fed up with the “cancel culture” trying to destroy people’s lives and careers because they made a dumb mistake for which they have publicly apologized. Country music lovers also tend to be Christians who know that nobody’s perfect, and we all need forgiveness. I suspect that while they personally condemn Wallen’s behavior and expect him to be sincere in his apology and shape up, they’re equally unhappy with hypocritical, judgmental rage mobs trying to destroy people for not living up to standards of tolerance that they fall far short of meeting themselves.
And I also suspect that some of those fans know that if it weren’t for people getting drunk and doing dumb things they later regret, half of all country songs wouldn’t even exist.