Why Was Morgan Wallen Even Nominated For 6 Billboard Awards (Then Uninvited To The Ceremony) After Racist N-Word Rant

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Morgan Wallen Nominated For A Billboard After N-Word Rant

Morgan Wallen will not be invited to the Billboard Music Awards, despite receiving 6 nominations. 

Wallen’s n-word rant has prohibited him from appearing at the show even though his chart success still makes him eligible to receive an award. 

The country music star revealed earlier this month that he has "really worked on myself" and is "proud of the work I've put in," as he strives to advance his anti-racist journey. 

However, in the court of public opinion, it may take more time for Wallen to get his music career back on track as he continues to face ramifications for his actions. 

What did Morgan Wallen do to be banned from the Billboard Awards? 

Wallen has been flying under the radar since footage released in February that captured him saying the n-word in a drunken conversation with friends. 

Since then, he has been kept off nearly all the nation’s country music stations. He was also barred from being eligible to receive nominations at the Academy of Country Music Awards. 

But a different set of rules apply to Billboard Awards, making Wallen eligible for nominations even if he can’t actually collect any awards he might receive.  

Dick Clarke Productions, who produces the Billboard Music Awards along with the ACM Awards, said in a statement, “His recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting).”

Wallen was suspended from his music label following the video. He had also faced controversy in October of last year over footage of him violating social-distancing guidelines in Alabama. This resulted in his being dropped from an upcoming “Saturday Night Live” performance. 

RELATED: Morgan Wallen Dropped By Record Label After Video Shows Him Using Racial Slur — Meet His Ex, Katie Smith

Why is Morgan Wallen nominated for a Billboard after using the n-word? 

Dick Clarke Productions clarified that, while they disapprove of Wallen’s behavior, the predetermined award nominations do not allow for expulsion on moral grounds. 

The Billboard Music Awards are often viewed as the fairer of the award competitions because of their data-driven approach to nominations. 

Their statement explained Wallen’s inclusion when they said that the results “are determined by performance on the Billboard charts, and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization.”

In other words, we all bought and streamed Wallen’s music freely until his racist tirade so really it’s our fault he’s nominated!

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However, his nomination also points to a darker side of Billboard’s data-driven nominations. Wallen’s music sales soared by 1220% after he was caught using the slur, presumably thanks to people who want to support racist actions. 

While Billboard’s democratic approach to award nominations may have backfired slightly on this particular matter, the egalitarian award show did prove its merits in other categories. 

The Weeknd, who has led the charge to boycott the Grammy Awards after being snubbed, received 16 Billboard nominations. 

He is part of a cohort of several Black artists who have criticized the Grammy’s biased approach to voting. His Billboard nominations are a testament to the fact that popularity and commercial success have little bearing on Grammy results, for better or worse. 

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.