A video surfaced in early February showing country artist Morgan Wallen with a racist bow. After various forms of backlash and after Wallen’s album stood at # 1 for a fourth week, Jason Isbell has announced that he will be donating all of the songwriting royalties for his track “Cover Me Up” which will appear on Wallen’s new album Dangerous: The double album – to the Nashville office of the NAACP. “So … some of that money has gone to me since I wrote ‘Cover Me Up’,” Isbell wrote on Twitter. “I’ve decided to donate everything I’ve done with this album so far to the Nashville chapter of @NAACP. Thanks for helping a good cause folks. “
TMZ initially released a video of Wallen with an anti-black bow on February 2. The website also shared a statement from Wallen, who said, “I am embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial fraud that I would like to take back. There are no excuses ever to use this type of language. I would like to sincerely apologize for the use of the word. I promise to do better. “
Wallen was then suspended from his Big Loud Records label indefinitely after the video was released. CMT also promised to remove Wallen’s appearances from its platforms. Additionally, Cumulus Media sent a message to over 400 radio stations instructing them to remove Wallen’s music from their playlists. The Academy of Country Music released a statement confirming that Wallen is not an option for this year’s CMAs.
On Wednesday evening, Wallen published a video about the incident. He spoke about trying to sober up and meet with black organizations and executives to discuss the weight of his words. He also encouraged his fans to stop trying to defend his actions. “I have a favor to ask,” he said. “I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me, but please not for today. I was wrong. I am responsible for it and accept any punishments I face. “
The original version of “Cover Me Up” appeared on Isbell’s 2013 studio album, Southeastern. Shortly after Isbell’s announcement, Diplo posted on Twitter that he would donate the proceeds of “Heartless” – his 2019 song with Wallen – to the NAACP. “Heartless is an old song of mine that has been on my live set for years,” Diplo tweeted. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to anger or offend anyone by playing a song with Morgan. It was by no means a political statement or a message. Jason is doing the right thing, I also donate my proceeds. “