Throw another point on the board for the team called “What’s Cancel Culture?“, because Morgan Wallen is back, baby! The questionably-remorseful country dude with the world’s most problematic sense of humor is back from hiatus, and this time he’s got a shiny new Academy of Country Music Awards trophy to take home with him. Apparently, the mandatory time-out for public N-word use in the country music community is just a little over 13 months? You learn something new every day.
Morgan Wallen’s public relations nightmare could have been limited to getting caught breaking COVID-19 rules set by NBC and Saturday Night Live, which ended with Morgan getting booted from the show in 2020 and re-booked several episodes later. But then just a few months later, a video emerged on the internet, which showed Morgan casually using the N-word during a drunken night out. Morgan apologized and swore he had grown (must have used Miracle Grow for casual N-word users). But still, his tour was canceled, radio stations began dropping his songs, and he was banned from several awards shows, like the ACM Awards and the Billboard Music Awards. Well, a year and a $500,000 check from his record label later, and Morgan is ready to resume his career.
At last night’s ACMs, Morgan was nominated for three awards: Male Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (for “7 Summers“), and Album of the Year, for Dangerous: The Double Album, which was released January 2021. That was right before Morgan’s video went viral and he had to step away for a bit. He won Album of the Year and gave a shout-out to almost everyone. Jesus, his family, his fans. Surprisingly, not the crisis firm that did all that damage control for him last year.
— ACM Awards (@ACMawards) March 8, 2022
Those fans in the audience sounded thrilled to see the return of shirt sleeves’ greatest enemy. But on Twitter, it was a different story. Yahoo! News notes that a whole lot of people side-eyed the ACM Awards’ decision to celebrate the kind of person who mostly played dumb after being told it wasn’t a good look to be saying the words he said. Many expressed that it felt like the ACM’s way of brushing past racism in the country music scene, while others pointed out that Morgan really didn’t seem to face any consequences from his actions. Still, there were Twitter users who celebrated Morgan’s win and congratulated him for beating cancel culture. Yes, many of those users had front-facing profile pictures taken in their car with their sunglasses on, why do you ask?
And it wasn’t just random people on Twitter who took issue with Morgan’s win. When he accepted his award, Grammy-winning country singer Maren Morris didn’t clap.
maren morris didn’t stand OR clap for morgan wallen’s album of the year win. we stan a true queen #ACMawards
— jacoв (@GiddyUpBardua) March 8, 2022
Maren Morris notably called out Morgan Wallen after his N-word video surfaced, and claimed it was far from Morgan’s first and only time using the word. So it’s pretty clear that Maren Morris is not a fan. If Maren is afraid of any backlash she might receive today, she could easily save face and explain she just couldn’t applaud for someone still wearing their hair in a blown-out mullet in 2022. I’m pretty sure even die-hard Morgan Wallen fans would say, “Yeah, it does look pretty stupid.”