Country music star Morgan Wallen is speaking out as he continues to face fallout in his career after being caught on video using a racial slur.
Last week, a video leaked featuring Wallen using the n-word and since then, he's faced fierce backlash from the country music industry. He was deemed ineligible for this year's Academy of Country Music Awards and his music has been pulled from iHeartRadio stations while he was also suspended by his record label.
On Wednesday evening, the singer took to Instagram to share an apology video.
"I'm long overdue to make a statement regarding my last incident," he said, adding that he took time to collect his thoughts and "seek some real guidance."
"The video you saw was me on hour 72 of a bender, and that's not something I'm proud of either," he admitted. "Obviously, the natural thing to do is to apologize further and continue to apologize because you got caught, and that's not what I wanted to do."
The Tennessee native continued: "I let so many people down who mean a lot to me, who have given so much to me, it's just not fair. I let my parents down and they're the furthest thing from the person in that video. I let my son down and I'm not OK with that."
Wallen said he took time to apologize to the people in his life that he knew were personally hurt and engaged in "some very real and honest conversations" with leaders of various Black organizations.
He noted that he was "nervous" to engage in such conversations as he felt "they had every right to step on my neck while I was down" but instead, "they offered me grace and they also paired that with an offer to learn and to grow."
Wallen said the kindness showed by those willing to engage with him inspired him "to dig deeper" and helped him to learn that "a word can truly hurt a person."
"This week I heard firsthand some personal stories from Black people that honestly shook me," he added. "And I know what I'm going through this week doesn't even compare to some of the trials I about from them. I came away from those discussions with a deep appreciation for them and a clearer understanding of the weight of my words."
"Our actions matter. Our words matter and I just want to encourage anyone watching to please learn from my mistake," the singer urged. "There's no reason to downplay what I did. It matters and please know I'm carefully choosing my next steps in repair."
On a more "positive note," Wallen shared that he's now been sober for nine days since the video was taken. He admitted that nine days isn't a terribly long time, but it's long enough to recognize that he doesn't want to be the version of himself in the video.
The star said "the majority of [his] mistakes are made" when he's not sober.
"I've decided to go off the grid for a little while and get used to making good decisions," he announced. "I want my team, my family, my friends and even strangers to trust me. Hell, I wanna trust me. Who knows if I'll be able to live down all the mistakes I've made, but I'm certainly going to try."
Wallen then asked his fans not to defend him because he "was wrong" and now takes "ownership" of the problem.