Morgan Wallen has doubled down on his initial apology with a 5-minute video posted to his Instagram and YouTube accounts on Wednesday.
In the clip, the country singer explains that his longer apology to the public was delayed because he wanted to first apologize and meet with Black leaders, which he says he did. He also discusses the brief mea culpa he shared after a video of him saying a racial slur emerged last week.
“I’ve decided to go off the grid for a little while and get used to making good decisions,” he says in the video. “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 … living healthy and being proud of my actions.”
Wallen said that he knew TMZ was set to post the video of him saying the n-word to his friends, and he was writing his apology during that time—but that having to write it quickly and the site’s edit of his quote wasn’t favorable to him.
“I was made aware of the video being posted to TMZ with hardly any time to think before it was released to the public,” he says. “I was asked if I wanted to apologize, and of course I did. I wrote many detailed thoughts, and only a portion of those got used, which painted me in an even more careless light. I’m here to hopefully show you that that’s not the truth.”
While he seemingly blamed TMZ for shortening his original apology, he mainly faulted himself for his actions. “The video you saw was me on hour 72 of a 72-hour bender, and that’s not something I’m proud of,” he says. “I let so many people down.”
Since the video surfaced, Wallen’s radio airplay has taken a dive, falling by over 70 percent, though his sales have risen sharply, increasing by 339 percent. His fans have gone to bat for him throughout this incident, but he now encourages them to stop defending him.
“Lastly, I have one favor to ask,” he tells fans toward the end of the video. “I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me. But for today, please don’t. I was wrong. It’s on me to take ownership of this and I fully accept any penalties I’m facing. The timing of my return is solely upon me and the work I put in. I still have a lot of really good people in my corner trying to help me and I appreciate you more than you know. This entire situation is ugly right now, but I’ll keep searching for ways to become the example instead of being made one.”
Wallen said he’s been sober since the video came to light on Feb. 3, though that may not mean much in the grand scheme of things. “I want to end this update hopefully on a more positive note. Since that video was taken, I’ve been sober for nine days. It’s not all that long of a time, but it’s enough to know that the man in that video is not the man that I’m trying to be," he said. “I’ve had this week to think about times when I’m 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.”