Morgan Wallen sat down for his first interview since the controversial video surfaced on TMZ earlier this year.
In a deeply personal conversation with Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan early Friday (July 23) morning, the East Tennessee native opened up about his use of a racial slur, going to rehab and more during the exclusive sit-down on ABC.
However, the popular early morning news show failed to air Wallen’s full discussion with Strahan and chose to show the abbreviated version of the lengthy interview, not allowing his complete answers to be seen and leaving out several notable moments.
One moment the outlet left out included the “Sand In My Boots” singer admitting to taking “complete responsibility and accountability” for his actions.
In a just over 1-minute video shared by Good Morning America on YouTube later Friday evening, the news show showed clips that were not aired that included some key talking points, including one question that was left out of the broadcast on ABC where Strahan asked the singer/songwriter, “What do you want to say to anyone that heard you say this word, especially someone with your influence?”
“I said this word outta ignorance,” Wallen admitted, before explaining, “I don’t, because I said it, it doesn’t mean that I think you should follow my lead by any means. And I hope that all my fans, and whoever thinks that I’m someone to look up to, that they know that that’s not in my heart and that’s not something that I condone or that I think that they should be doing either. I’ve told a lot of people sorry to their faces. But I kinda just wanted to come tell my story and let people know kinda who I am and how much I regret the mistake I made. I think I was just ignorant about it.”
He continued, “I don’t think that I ever really thought through it, you know. I don’t think I sat down and was, like ‘Hey, is this right or is this wrong?’ It was just my thinkin’ was off. I was flawed in that, and just the whole situation was flawed for me. And I’ll take complete responsibility and accountability for it.”
Wallen later added that he and his family were forced to move as the received lots of threats following the incident.
“I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I got a lot of threats. My family got lotta threats,” the “Wasted On You” singer added. “So I was concerned about that, you know, so I tried to get out somewhere where, you know, people wouldn’t know where I was at.”
See the footage that didn’t air during the broadcast in their just-released YouTube video below.
During the interview he also revealed that he donated $500,000 to Black organizations from the spike in sales for his sophomore project, Dangerous: The Double Album, which soared to new heights following the incident.
“Before this incident my album was already doing well,” Wallen said. “It was already being well-received by critics and by fans. Me and my team noticed that whenever this whole incident happened that there was a spike in my sales. So we tried to calculate what the number of — how much it actually spiked from this incident.”
See the full length interview below.
Following the interview, a foundation founded by Wallen in 2021 appeared online called the ‘More Than My Hometown’ Foundation, named after his fourth consecutive No. 1 single of the same name, from his record-breaking sophomore project, Dangerous: The Double Album.
The brand new foundation that “believes every young person deserves the best chance at a great life, by strengthening and fostering these four pillars: FAMILY, COMMUNITY, GUIDANCE, and LOVE – we open the door for greater opportunity and hope,” according to the foundation’s website.
Established by Wallen in 2021, the More Than My Hometown Foundation will help young people find families that can provide warm, loving homes to “rebuild their confidence, self-belief, and to feel forever loved, with a forever family.”
After witnessing his parents, Lesli & Tommy, adopt a young girl named Lacey on Monday (July 12) with the help of Omni Visions in Knoxville, Tennessee, and watching his new sister’s growth and confidence, Wallen was inspired to launch the new foundation to assist underprivileged children.
“Since my parents fostered and now officially adopted my sister Lacy, I’ve witnessed what love and care can do for a child that didn’t have it before. She has transformed into a confident, trusting and happy kid,” Wallen said in a statement on the foundation’s website. “There are many elements that aid in the development and protection of an adolescents life, and that is why I created the foundation so a child’s resources are not limited due to their circumstances.”
Wallen previously praised his parents following their adoption of his new sister, “You guys are special people!! Thankful for you.”