Darius Rucker Reflects on Morgan Wallen's Racial Slur Controversy: He's 'Become a Better Person Since That'

In February 2021, Wallen was caught on video using the N-word while speaking to one of his friends

<p>Jason Kempin/Getty; Bryan Steffy/WireImage</p> Darius Rucker and Morgan Wallen

Jason Kempin/Getty; Bryan Steffy/WireImage

Darius Rucker and Morgan Wallen

Darius Rucker thinks it's time people forgive Morgan Wallen after he was caught on video using a racial slur in 2021.

During an appearance on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast on July 2, the Hootie and the Blowfish singer addressed the incident and said the "Whiskey Glasses" singer has since changed.

“I think Morgan’s become a better person since that,” Rucker, 58, told the outlet. “I’ve known Morgan a long time. Since all that happened, Morgan’s tried to really better himself and become a better person and see the world in a much better, better way.”

Rucker also argued that though Wallen, 31, has seen massive success with streaming numbers and ticket sales since the incident happened, he still hasn't been fully forgiven.

Related: Morgan Wallen's Ups and Downs: From 'The Voice' and Shattering Records to Racial Controversy and Felony Charges

“You know, he’s not forgiven. He’s still not out for CMAs and ACMs,” Rucker said. “They can say what they want, but the fact that Morgan Wallen is not up for entertainer of the year and those things is crazy. No one’s selling more tickets than Morgan.”

In February 2021, a video obtained by TMZ showed the "Last Night" singer using the N-word while speaking to one of his friends. At the time, he told PEOPLE in a statement he was "embarrassed and sorry."

The following morning, however, his music was pulled from the two major radio station networks, he was "indefinitely" suspended by his label and he was made ineligible for the ACM Awards that spring.

A week after the video surfaced, Wallen posted a 5-minute video apologizing for using the racial slur and said he had been sober for nine days.

<p>Christopher Polk/Penske Media via Getty </p> Morgan Wallen

Christopher Polk/Penske Media via Getty

Morgan Wallen

"I let so many people down," he said. "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 OK with that."

"And one thing I've learned already [and] I'm specifically sorry for is that it matters — my words matter," he added. "A word can truly hurt a person and in my core, it's not what I'm OK with."

Since then, Wallen revealed he went to rehab on Good Morning America, made his award show comeback and his 2023 studio album One Thing at a Time shattered records. He also embarked on a tour in support of the album.

Then, in a cover story interview with Billboard, the "Keith Whitley" singer reflected on his use of the racial slur and said he realized “just how much that people listen to me."

Related: Morgan Wallen's Mom Lesli Calls Out City of Nashville After Son's Bar Sign Proposal Rejection: 'Way to Go'

“There’s no excuse. I’ve never made an excuse. I never will make an excuse," Wallen told the publication. “I’ve talked to a lot of people, heard stories [about] things that I would have never thought about because I wasn’t the one going through it."

Most recently, Wallen was arrested on felony charges on April 7 after he allegedly threw a chair from a local rooftop bar.

Days after his arrest, Wallen took "responsibility" for his actions in a statement published on X. The next court date in the case is scheduled for Aug. 15.

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