When Morgan Wallen uttered a racial slur earlier this year, the outrage against him was swift and steep. But one person who offered both an apology and support is Jimmie Allen, a Black country singer who chose to offer grace instead of anger.
“After it happened, I reached out to him, and we talked every day until he left,” Allen revealed on Bobby Bones’ Bobbycast podcast. “I just kept it at 100. I said, ‘Bro, no matter how drunk, whatever you did, there’s three things we can’t do. We can’t say the n-word if you ain’t black. You can’t say the f-word if you ain’t gay, and you can’t beat women. Three things.”
Allen said he wasn’t personally offended by Wallen’s slur, encouraging others to choose forgiveness over hatred.
“Just because I don’t agree with what he said, doesn’t mean I should banish him … If we want to make the world a better place, we have to do the work, and the work is putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations,” Allen said. “When Morgan said what he said, I had two choices: I could yell at him and bash at him on social media, or I could take some time and really process the whole thing, and look at who Morgan is, look at Morgan’s state of mind when he said that, look at Morgan’s history, the type of music he listens to.”
Wallen also encouraged others to look at the other things Wallen was struggling with before making a judgement on his entire life
“How do we handle this alcohol situation?” he said. “How do we handle your outbursts? How do we handle the reckless behavior?”
Allen, who publicly offered forgiveness on social media while Wallen experienced extreme and immediate backlash, said forgiving Wallen was more about himself than anyone else.
“People look up to two people in life. They either say God, or they say Martin Luther King,” Allen told Everything Nash. “And the thing about both of those figures is, they’re all about forgiveness. You definitely hold people accountable … If Martin Luther King can forgive people that hung his family members, come on.
“Everyone wants forgiveness, but not everybody wants to give it,” he continued. “People forget that forgiveness isn’t about the other person. It’s about you. It’s about you releasing that weight off for you, so you don’t have to carry all that. And the only way to make the world a better place, which we all say we want, is to go through the hard stuff.”
Wallen, who has not disclosed where he is, offered an apology on social media for his actions.
“The video you saw was me on hour 72 of a 72-hour bender,” Wallen said in a lengthy video. “That’s not something I’m proud of either. Obviously the natural thing to do is to apologize further and just continue to apologize, because you got caught. And that’s not what I wanted to do. I let so many people down, who mean a lot to me, and who have given so much to me. It’s just not fair. I let my parents down and they’re the furthest thing from the person in that video. I let my son down, and I’m not okay with that.”