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The Grand Ole Opry was criticized after a tweet about a surprise performance over the weekend from Morgan Wallen, a country music singer who was caught on camera using a racial slur.
The Opry, which is known to be a predominantly white institution, was criticized by musicians on social media following Wallen’s performance, according to The Associated Press.
“Morgan Wallen’s thoughtless redemption tour is the nail in the coffin of me realizing these systems, and this town is really not for us,” Joy Oladokun tweeted about the meaning of the Opry’s decision for Black artists.
Others based their comments on issues with the Opry more generally as opposed to Wallen’s performance with his label mate ERNEST.
“The thing that really upsets me is bigger than one person’s words. It’s the idea of a young Black artist walking into that venue and wondering if ANYBODY is on their side,” Jason Isbell tweeted. “What a lot of us consider to be a grand ole honor can be terrifying for some.”
Last year, Wallen used a racial slur on camera. Despite some temporary bans from certain venues following his actions, Wallen later resumed his tour and ended 2021 with the top country album of the year and the most popular album for all genres, the AP reported.
In June 2020, around the time Black Lives Matter protests swept the nation following the murder of George Floyd, the Opry said in a tweet, “Racism is real. It is unacceptable. And it has no place at The Grand Ole Opry.”
The Hill has reached out to a representative for Wallen as well as to the Opry for comment.