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Academy of Country Music disqualifies Morgan Wallen from awards show

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Morgan Wallen

Country artist Morgan Wallen has been disqualified from performing at or receiving any recognition during the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards, the organization announced Wednesday, as the star continues to face backlash for a viral video showing him hurling a racial slur in front of friends.

The first round of voting for the awards show, which is slated to be broadcast April 18, has already closed. Wallen’s name will be removed from the contest’s second round of voting, which is set to open Feb. 10, according to the ACM.

“The Academy of Country Music will halt Morgan Wallen’s potential involvement and eligibility for this year’s 56th Academy of Country Music Awards cycle,” a statement from the Academy reads.

“The Academy does not condone or support intolerance or behavior that doesn’t align with our commitment and dedication to diversity and inclusion.”

The ACM, which hosts the smaller of country music’s two major awards shows behind November’s Country Music Association Awards, also announced that it would remove all of Wallen’s digital content from its website.

The 27-year-old won the CMA award for “Best New Artist” last year.

Wallen was also suspended “indefinitely” by his record label earlier Wednesday after TMZ first reported on a video that showed the Tennessee native saying the N-word following a night of drinking in Nashville.

His radio airplay took a major hit this week following the scandal — dropping close to 80 percent after iHeartRadio and Cumulus Media, the country’s two largest radio chains, instructed their stations to stop playing Wallen’s music, according to a report in Variety.

Wallen apologized for the incident Wednesday, calling his actions “unacceptable and inappropriate.”

“I’m embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back,” he said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. “There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”

It remains unclear whether Wallen will be barred from future awards shows, including this year’s CMA Awards.

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