SNL dumps Morgan Wallen as musical guest for breaking COVID protocols

Morgan Wallen (Photo by Jason Kempin/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM)
Morgan Wallen (Photo by Jason Kempin/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM) /

Saturday Night Live canceled country music star Morgan Wallen as this week’s musical guest

Saturday Night Live has informed country music star Morgan Wallen that he will no longer be this week’s musical guest. SNL made the decision after videos surfaced of Wallen in public without a mask.

Wallen was set to make his SNL debut this weekend in support of host Bill Burr. The 27-year-old Wallen was a contestant on The Voice in 2014 and has seen a steady rise in success since then, culminating with his hit single “7 Summers” released earlier this year.

Videos posted to TikTok showed Wallen partying in Alabama less than a week before he was set to perform on SNL. Wallen was seen in crowded bars and appeared without wearing a mask. His actions go against the strict COVID-19 protocols SNL is using to keep its cast, staff, and crew safe in New York City.

On his Instagram page, Wallen announced that Lorne Michaels told him the show was canceling his performance. The musician took responsibility for his actions and expressed remorse for his actions and their consequences:

"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."

Saturday Night Live has not announced a replacement musical guest

As of Thursday morning, Saturday Night Live had yet to announce a replacement for Morgan Wallen. Under normal circumstances, finding a last-minute musical guest would be relatively easy. But the safety precautions in place during the pandemic pose a challenge for SNL.

Ideally, SNL will reach out to a musical act that is already in New York City and has been for at least two weeks. Any performers will have to go through the same screening that everyone goes through upon entering 30 Rock.

The show could also choose to go remote with for the musical performance. This would make things a lot easier considering most bands and singers are prepared to play remotely. However, SNL likely wants to keep the momentum of live sketches and live musical performances that it started with last week’s season 46 premiere.

It’s a good sign that Lorne Michaels and everyone else at Saturday Night Live are taking things seriously, especially this early in the season. Finding a new musical guest is definitely a headache but it is far better than the alternative and abandoning safety precautions.

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What do you think of Saturday Night Live‘s decision to dump Morgan Wallen? Who do you think should be the new musical guest? Share your thoughts in the comment section and check back with Last Night On for more updates on this story.