Darius Rucker says Morgan Wallen has 'become a better person' after racist slur controversy

"They can say what they want, but the fact that Morgan Wallen is not up for entertainer of the year and those things is crazy."

Darius Rucker says it's time to forgive fellow country star Morgan Wallen for his 2021 use of a racist slur.

During an appearance on Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast, the Hootie & the Blowfish singer reflected on the backlash that has followed Wallen for the past three years, after he was caught on video repeatedly using the N-word. When asked if he believes that the “Whiskey Glasses” singer should be forgiven, Rucker said, "I do.”

“I think Morgan’s become a better person since that,” Rucker explained. “I’ve known Morgan a long time. Since all that happened Morgan’s tried to really better himself and become a better person and see the world in a much better, better way.”

<p>Getty(2)</p> Morgan Wallen and Darius Rucker


Morgan Wallen and Darius Rucker

Related: Morgan Wallen speaks out after Nashville arrest for throwing chair: 'I'm not proud of my behavior'

Rucker went on to argue that the music industry at large has "not forgiven" Wallen for the controversy.

"He’s still not out for CMAs and ACMs. They can say what they want, but the fact that Morgan Wallen is not up for entertainer of the year and those things is crazy," Rucker said. "No one’s selling more tickets than Morgan. Maybe Luke Combs is right up there with them, but they’re playing stadiums, man.”

He added, "That’s society. What I think doesn’t matter. People are gonna make their own opinions and stay with it.”

In February 2021, Wallen was captured on video using the N-word to describe a friend. After the clip was obtained by TMZ, it circulated in the media, which led to the suspension of his record label contract, removal from radio airplay, and disqualification from the 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards.

<p>Stephen J. Cohen/Getty</p> Darius Rucker and Morgan Wallen

Stephen J. Cohen/Getty

Darius Rucker and Morgan Wallen

Related: Darius Rucker speaks out about drug arrest: 'I think somebody wanted to make an example out of me'

Amid the fallout, Wallen issued an apology and indicated that he'd spoken with Black-led organizations, and was committed to working with them on educating himself on racist behavior. He also addressed the incident, which he described as a “playful” exchange between drunken pals, in a conversation with Good Morning America's Michael Strahan.

"[I] didn't mean it in any derogatory manner at all," Wallen told Strahan, explaining that he only used the word around a certain group of friends and didn't realize its larger implications.

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Wallen further courted controversy earlier this year when he was arrested in Nashville on April 7 and charged with three counts of felony reckless endangerment and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct after he threw a chair off the rooftop of Eric Church’s six-story Chief's Bar.

Despite the scandals, Wallen has continued to find success in the music industry. He kicked off his One Night at a Time Tour in April, and his song "Last Night (One Record At A Time Sessions)" was nominated for Male Video of the Year at the CMT Awards. 

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.