‘SNL’ cancels appearance by country singer Morgan Wallen for COVID safety violations

By Mikael Wood

Los Angeles Times

Morgan Wallen will not perform this weekend on “Saturday Night Live.”

The mullet-wearing country star whose hit “7 Summers” recently set records for a country track on streaming services said in an Instagram video posted Wednesday that he’d been disinvited by the NBC sketch-comedy series, which had booked him for Saturday’s show alongside host Bill Burr, after clips surfaced on social media showed him partying in tightly packed crowds without a mask.

“My actions from this past weekend were pretty short-sighted and have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams,” he said in the Instagram video, which he said he shot in a New York City hotel room. “I respect the show’s decision because I know I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership for this. I’d like to apologize to ‘SNL,’ to my fans, to my team for bringing me these opportunities, and I let them down.

“And on a more personal note,” he added, “I think I have some growing up to do.”

In the social media clips, which were widely criticized online, Wallen —who broke into music after competing on “The Voice” in 2014 and who released his debut album in 2018 —is shown drinking with and kissing several women in what looks like a bar. The singer’s representative declined to comment further.

Wallen’s removal from “SNL” comes several months after two other Nashville stars, Chase Rice and Chris Janson, were criticized for playing concerts with little apparent social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his Instagram video, Wallen said he planned to “take a step back from the spotlight for a little while.”

“I think I’ve lost myself a little bit,” he said. “I’ve tried to find joy in the wrong places, and, I don’t know, it’s left me with less joy.”