Wow. What’s wrong with this picture?
His recording contract was suspended. Radio stations all over the continent stopped playing his music. Streaming services dropped his songs. Satellite radio opted out. He was declared ineligible for country music awards. Next to “cancel” in the dictionary is a picture of Morgan Wallen.
But a weird thing has happened. While radio airplay was down 71%, his music sales increased by 339%. And he already had the number one album in America with Dangerous: The Double Album, which came out in January. It’s still number one. And five songs are receiving 1,000 paid downloads a day. Prior to the cancellation, none were that popular.
Weird, no? Then again, maybe not.
The country music scene has split with way too many fans pointing out that the N-word is used all the time in hip-hop. These fans obviously decided to show their support by buying more of Wallen’s music.
Jeezus, people. Do we really need to point out the distinction when the accused is a white dude vs. a Black performer? Anyone who says that there’s not a white supremacy problem within country music needs to give their head a shake. This article from Vulture goes deep into that issue.
Other parts of the country community have been totally been on board with the cancellation, saying that such behavior has no place in their scene–or any scene, for that matter. This is from Mickey Guyton, the only Black female country performer signed to a major label.
When I read comments saying “this is not who we are” I laugh because this is exactly who country music is. I’ve witnessed it for 10 gd years. You guys should just read some of the vile comments hurled at me on a daily basis. It’s a cold hard truth to face but it is the truth. pic.twitter.com/l3h18Z1ARU— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) February 3, 2021
What’s going on? This is from SavingCountryMusic.com:
“What also might be happening here is a musical version of The Streisand Effect, where censoring Morgan Wallen, or making him taboo, or forbidden, or hard to access is having the opposite result, similar to what we saw when Twitter and other big media platforms censored news from The New York Post on Joe Biden’s son Hunter right before the American Presidential election. The censorship resulted in a massive spike in traffic and interest to the outlet directly, specifically due to the effort to suppress it.
“What this reaction says about the scruples of the individuals that would use the revelation of Morgan Wallen’s personal behavior to purchase his music is one thing. But it also should perhaps cause a re-evaluation in how we go about dealing with individuals who fall out of favor with societal norms. Often not allowing them to participate only pushes the individuals and their followers further towards fringe ideologies and extremism as they search for communities that will validate their opinions as opposed to refute them, all while not injuring the bottom dollar of the banished individual, but sometimes padding it.”
Weird. And disturbing.