‘SNL’ Drops Musical Guest Morgan Wallen After Artist Ignores COVID Guidelines

The country musician was uninvited from "Saturday Night Live" after videos of him ignoring social distancing guidelines were shared on the internet.
Morgan Wallen
Morgan Wallen at a concert in 2019.
Katie Darby/Invision/AP

Country musician Morgan Wallen was removed from the lineup for the next episode of “Saturday Night Live” after a video of the artist ignoring social distancing guidelines was widely shared on the internet.

Wallen, who has created popular songs such as “Whiskey Glasses” and “7 Summers,” was recently recorded in various videos in Alabama mingling with others without a mask at a bar and a house party. The musician revealed that he had been uninvited from performing at the upcoming “Saturday Night Live” episode in an Instagram video on Wednesday evening and apologized for ignoring social distancing guidelines.

“I got a call from the show letting me know that I would no longer be able to play and that’s because of COVID protocols, which I understand. I’m not positive for COVID but my actions this past weekend were pretty short-sighted, and they have obviously affected my long-term goals and dreams,” Wallen said on Instagram. “I respect the show’s decision because I know I put them in jeopardy and I take ownership for this.”

Wallen also stated that he had “lost himself a little bit” and had “tried to find joy in the wrong places” and said he would remove himself from the spotlight for a time. That said, the musician noted that he was optimistic about the future and may be able to perform on “Saturday Night Live” at some point in the future.

“I wish I could’ve made country music and my fans proud this Saturday but I respect the decision,” Wallen said in the Instagram video. “(‘Saturday Night Live’ creator) Lorne Michaels actually gave me a lot of encouragement by letting me know that we’ll find another time to make this up.”

“Saturday Night Live” made the return to in-studio production in time for its Season 46 premiere on October 3. Several virtual episodes of the long-running sketch comedy series were recorded over the summer. Though the “Saturday Night Live” team has enacted various coronavirus-related safety measures for its return to studio production, the show’s team used a loophole to allow members of the public to attend live tapings, despite New York state guidelines prohibiting members of the public from attending live television shows.

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