Country music singer Morgan Wallen, who was booked as the musical guest on this weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live, has been disinvited from appearing on the show after videos circulated last weekend showing the 27-year-old partying and making out with college students.
“I got a call from the show letting me know that I will no longer be able to play,” Wallen said in a video posted to Instagram. “And that’s because of COVID protocols, which I understand. I am not positive for COVID, but my actions this past weekend were pretty short sighted and they have obviously affected my longterm goals and my dreams. I respect the show’s decision because I know that 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.”
He continued, “On a more personal note, I think I have some growing up to do. I think I’ve lost myself a little bit." He said he was planning to step back from the spotlight, and added, "Lorne Michaels actually gave me a lot of encouragement by letting me know that we’ll find another time to make this up. So that means a lot to me. Thank you for that."
The country star spent last weekend partying at the University of Alabama after attending the Crimson Tide/Texas A&M college football game. He can be seen in multiple TikTok videos making out with various people and drinking with random strangers at bars, house parties and cars. No one is wearing a mask or attempting anything resembling social distancing.
Back in May, Wallen was arrested in Nashville after getting kicked out of Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse for allegedly “kicking glass items” and getting into verbal fights with passersby.
Saturday Night Live 46th season got off to a rough start last weekend, after their big return to Studio 8H, with Chris Rock hosting the season premiere, was followed by serious questions about the safety protocols with their studio audience.
It is a violation of New York state's pandemic media production rules for SNL to have a live audience—unless it's made up of cast or crew. Earlier this week it emerged that they had embraced a loophole and paid their live audience members $150 each to be there.
The audience was also not socially distanced, and the state rules indicate there are no exceptions for social distancing guidelines, even if the individuals are part of "pods" who know each other beforehand, unless the functions during media production require it. However, a spokesperson for the Health Department told Gothamist that the state has found no evidence of "non-compliance—but if any is discovered, we will refer that to local authorities for follow up."
Bill Burr is set to host this weekend's episode, but no word yet on who the replacement musical guest will be. Maya Rudolph will be there though.