Singer-Songwriter Jason Isbell has led Black Country artists for allowing racial country singer Morgan Wallen to perform at the Ryman Auditorium. He was there on one of country music’s most historic stages. Many artists, including Jason Isbell, have interpreted it as an acceptance of Morgan Wallen’s racial slur on camera.
The milestone occasion was overshadowed by the surprise appearance of Morgan Wallen, with some seeing it as a redemption tour. He faced a backlash from the industry with a radio station banning him after he was caught on tape throwing a racial insult a year ago.
The tweet from Ole Opry announcing the performance set off a backlash with the decision being called out.
Fans joined in the heavy criticism of the mostly white institution and its historic role as a gatekeeper for country music.
Other than Jason Isbell, other performs including Rissi Palmer, Allison Russell, Yola, Noelle Scaggs, Chely Wright, Joy Oladokun commented that the decision to permit the racial star could have disturbing consequences for colored artists in country music.
Oladokun wrote that the thoughtless redemption tour of Morgan Wallen made her finally realize that the system is heavily skewered against colored people.
Morgan Wallen had released a video apologizing for the drunken ravings and said that what people saw was not the person he wanted to be.
Jason Isbell Says Not Surprised At Ole Opry Decision, Just Sad
Jason Isbell wrote that Ole Opry had a choice to either upset one person or break the hearts of countless aspiring Black country artists. Jason Isbell said that they made the wrong choice, and he said he felt sad for a lot of his friends.
Jason Isbell added that he was not surprised at the decision, only sad. Black Opry, the artist collective aims to celebrate and promote the music of Black performers in roots and country music. Holly G wrote that a stage once deemed a treasured destination for Black artists is now known among the many Nashville stages where blacks are not welcome.