Saturday Night Live Bids Morgan Wallen "Buh-Bye" Over COVID Violation

After kicking off its 46th season in grand fashion with host Chris Rock, musical artist Megan Thee Stallion, and the debut of Jim Carrey's Joe Biden, NBC's Saturday Night Live is looking to knock out four more live shows this month. On October 10th, comedian/actor Bill Burr (The Mandalorian) and musical guest Morgan Wallen will be taking the lead, with Issa Rae (Insecure) and Justin Bieber set for October 17th. Well, at least that was the plan. On Wednesday, the long-running sketch comedy-music series announced that Wallen would not be performing this weekend.

Saturday Night Live (Image: NBCU)
Saturday Night Live (Image: NBCU)

The news comes after a TikTok video of the country music artist at a house party minus a mask began circulating on social media. In the video, Wallen is seen doing shots in a crowded party where social distancing and masks were not in play and also seen kissing an unmasked woman. Wallen was contacted by the show and informed that he was being cut from the show "because of COVID protocols," but he said in his Instagram post (see below) that SNL creator Lorne Michaels told him his appearance would be rescheduled for another time [Ed. Note: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!].  "It's a tough video for me to make but a necessary one," Wallen explained. "My actions this past weekend were shortsighted, and they have obviously affected my longterm goals and my dreams. I respect the show's decision because I know that 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… I think I have growing up to do."

 

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Even with the cast, writers, and staff/crews receiving regular COVID testing, SNL creator Lorne Michaels and the others still have health concerns- and Michaels makes it clear that he's still not sure they can make the magic happen. "We don't know that we're going to be able to pull it off. We're going to be as surprised as everyone else when it actually goes on," he explained. "We just have to stay clean and focused until October 3rd. And then we do five shows in a row."

Saturday Night Live's 46th season includes Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, and Bowen Yang. Che and Jost serve as head writers, with Bryan Tucker serving as senior writer. Lauren Holt (The Filth), Punkie Johnson (Space Force), and Andrew Dismukes (Comedy Central's Colossal ClusterFest, New York Comedy Festival) are joining the cast as feature players.

Not including specials and digital series, SNL has won 72 Emmy Awards, the most for any show in television history. SNL also holds the title for the most nominated television show in Emmy history with 270 nominations (once again, not including specials and digital series). The long-running sketch comedy and musical series is executive produced by Lorne Michaels, produced by Steve Higgins and Erik Kenward, and directed by Don Roy King. Ken Aymong serves as a supervising producer, with Lindsay Shookus, Erin Doyle, and Tom Broecker producing. The series is produced by SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.

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