Morgan Wallen‘s Saturday Night Live debut will have to wait. The country star has been removed as Saturday’s (Oct. 10) musical guest on the late-night sketch comedy show after making headlines for partying, maskless and in multiple different locations, after attending an Oct. 3 University of Alabama football game.
Wallen shared the news of his removal as SNL musical guest in an Instagram video posted on Wednesday (Oct. 7) afternoon from New York City. In the message, the singer explains that although he has not tested positive for COVID-19, showrunners have asked him not to come to set “because of COVID protocols, which I understand.”
“My actions this past weekend were pretty short-sighted and they have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams,” Wallen continues. “I respect the show’s decision, because I know that I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership for this.”
Wallen is facing scrutiny after multiple videos on TikTok showed the 27-year-old drinking with a variety of different people, briefly grabbing a guitar and singing for the crowd and kissing a number of different women. In all of the videos, Wallen is wearing the same outfit as in a photo posted to his own Instagram account on Saturday, of himself and professional golfer Justin Thomas in a box at the Crimson Tide’s football game versus Texas A&M at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
“I’d like to apologize to SNL, to my fans, to my team for bringing me these opportunities, and I Iet them down,” Wallen reflects. “And, on a more personal note, I think I have some growing up to do. You know, I think I’ve lost myself a little bit. I’ve tried to find joy in the wrong places, and, I don’t know, it’s left me with less joy.”
Wallen notes that Saturday Night Live creator and producer Lorne Michaels told him they would find a time to reschedule Wallen’s appearance on the show, though there is no set timeline. News of Wallen’s replacement on Saturday’s show, which will be hosted by comedian Bill Burr, has also not yet been announced. It will be the series’ second episode of its 46th season; the cast and crew are back in their New York City studio, practicing social distancing and taking COVID-19 safety precautions, after the novel coronavirus pandemic forced them to cut their 45th season short and put together a couple of from-home episodes.
Wallen ends his video message by saying that he is “gonna take a step back from the spotlight for a little while and go work on myself.
“I wish I could have made country music and my fans proud this Saturday, but I respect the decision,” he concludes. “It may be a second before you hear from me for a while, but, uh, I’m gonna go work on me, and I appreciate y’all respecting that, and I’ll talk to you soon. I love you.”
In late May, Wallen was arrested and charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct after an incident at Kid Rock‘s bar on Lower Broadway in Nashville. He was released on bond shortly after his arrest, later poking fun at his mugshot on social media and apologizing for what happened at the end of a night full of memories he admitted were “pretty fuzzy.” In July, a judge declined to prosecute Wallen on the charges.
Despite the pandemic putting his 2020 touring plans on ice, Wallen is seeing his stock rise this year. His recent release “7 Summers” debuted atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, becoming only the fifth song to start at the summit in the history of the chart since its inception in 1958, and the first to do so since 2017.
Wallen is reportedly working on a double album as his next full-length release, to follow his debut record, 2018’s If I Know Me. He also recently welcomed his first child, a son named Indigo Wilder; the baby boy’s mother is Wallen’s ex-fiancee, Katie Smith.