Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album has maintained its No. 1 chart status for the sixth week in a row, despite the artist's documented use of a racial slur three weeks ago. Only three albums have spent at least six weeks at number one in the last five years: Dangerous, Taylor Swift’s Folklore, and Drake’s Views.
Directly after the racist incident, Wallen’s record label “suspended” his contract, while radio stations and streaming services quickly scrubbed his songs from playlists. The Academy of Country Music Awards halted Wallen's "potential involvement and eligibility" in this year's awards cycle. Wallen apologized, twice — and apparently that was enough for country fans, whose Dangerous streams have racked up to 112.11 million.
This number is extremely disappointing, but not surprising. Wallen's actions are the product of a racist industry, and the backlash to his remarks prompted other popular country artist Luke Combs to apologize for using the Confederate Flag. As voiced by Black country singer Mickey Guyton, country is rooted in whiteness, and the genre has purposefully erected barriers to refuse non-white people from coming in.
Incoming streams for Wallen's album are supposedly protesting "cancel culture," and fans have voiced their support for the artist despite his racial slur. But there's a difference between "canceling" someone and holding them accountable, and unfortunately, the country genre doesn't claim the latter. So long as the guilty party is white, fans are happy to accept their apology and continue streaming — ignoring how the situation only encourages racist actions to endure within the industry. If Wallen and his equally successful peers continue to be allowed to rewrite history and recast the present, how does does the industry build a better future?