The rising country star posted an emotional Instagram video from a New York City hotel room — where he was preparing to go on the weekly show — telling fans that he had received a call from the show informing him that he would no longer be able to play the Oct. 10 show because of COVID-19 protocols at “SNL.”
He said he has not tested positive for COVID-19, but “my actions from this past weekend were pretty short-sighted, and have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams,” he said, referring to TikToks in recent days that showed Wallen socializing in Alabama without a mask at a crowded bar and a house party.
“I respect the show’s decision because I know I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership for this. I’d like to apologize to ‘SNL,’ to my fans, to my team for bringing me these opportunities, and I let them down,” he said.
“And on a more personal note, I think I have some growing up to do,” he added. “I think I lost myself a little bit. I tried to find joy in the wrong places and, I don’t know, it’s left me with less joy, so I’m going to try to work on that. I’m going to take a step back from the spotlight for a little while and go work on myself. I wish I could have made country music and my fans proud this Saturday, but I respect the decision once again.”
Wallen said that “SNL” chief Lorne Michaels gave him “a lot of encouragement,” and told Wallen that the show would “find another time to make this up.”
Wallen acknowledged the scrutiny he has faced in the wake of the surfaced TikToks, but said that the notes of encouragement he has received “haven’t gone unnoticed either.”
No new musical guest has been announced to play in Wallen’s place.
The musician’s full Instagram post can be viewed below.