Saturday Night Live had a strong season opener, with host Chris Rock helping drive huge numbers to their first episode shot on the show’s iconic stage since the pandemic began. But they’re running into a snag with their follow-up. The 46th season’s second episode was to feature country singer Morgan Wallen as its musical guest. Unfortunately, they had to remove him a mere three days before airing after a news report from Tuscaloosa, AL revealed he’d spent the weekend at a maskless college party. Videos posted to TikTok and Twitter show the country singer drinking and making out with partygoers, visiting a bar, and sitting in the backseat of a fan’s car. As such, he’s exposed himself to a highly contagious disease and is would therefore break the show’s strict COVID codes by appearing.
Walle revealed the news in a video posted to Instagram, which he recorded from his New York City hotel room. He said that while he did not test positive for the coronavirus yet, he understands the decision. “My actions from this past weekend were pretty short-sighted, and have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams,” he said in the video.
“I respect the show’s decision because I know I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership for this,” Wallen said. He added, “I’d like to apologize to SNL, to my fans, to my team for bringing me these opportunities, and I let them down.” He also revealed he would take a step out to reflect:
I think I have some growing up to do. I think I lost myself a little bit. I tried to find joy in the wrong places and, I don’t know, it’s left me with less joy, so I’m going to try to work on that. I’m going to 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 once again.
Lastly, Wallen revealed that SNL chief Lorne Michaels told him over the phone that the show would “find another time to make this up.”
You can watch Wallen’s Instagram video above.