Though only in their second episode of the new season, Saturday Night Live will need to find a new musical guest this week after country artist Morgan Wallen has broken the show's COVID-19 protocols. Wallen was spotted in public, and documented on social media, without a mask in a crowded bar and at a house party. He confirmed the news himself in an emotional video on Instagram, saying: "I'm in New York City, in a hotel room, I was getting ready for SNL this Saturday, and I got a call from the show letting me know that I will no longer be able to play, and that's because of COVID protocols, which I understand."
He continued, "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 my dreams. I respect the show’s decision because I know that I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership for this. I’d like to apologize to SNL, to my fans, to my team for bringing me these opportunities, and I let them down. And on a more personal note, I think I have some growing up to do. I think I've 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 go try and 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."
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Wallen confirmed that he spoke with series creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels who gave me words of encouragement despite their decision. The musician revealed that Michaels told him they would find "another time to make this up," indicating he would be invited back eventually.
He concluded, "Lastly, I know that I'm taking some heat, a lot of heat, but I just wanted to let you guys know that your messages of encouragement haven't gone unnoticed either. It may be a second before you hear from me for a while, but I'm going to go work on me and I appreciate y'all respecting that, and I'll talk to y'all soon."
Comedian Bill Burr is still set to host the episode, but it's unclear who will replace Wallen as the musical guest at this time.2comments
(Cover photo by Jason Kempin/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM)