Music | September 20, 2021 3:28 pm

Morgan Wallen Reportedly Hasn’t Donated All the Money He Promised to Black Charities

Wallen pledged $500,000 to Black charities back in July. One organization called that number "exceptionally misleading."

Country musician Morgan Wallen performs onstage at the Ryman Auditorium on January 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee
Morgan Wallen performs onstage at the Ryman Auditorium on January 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Getty Images for Ryman Auditorium

Last July, disgraced country singer Morgan Wallen appeared on Good Morning America to once again apologize for using the n-word and pledge $500,000 in donations to BIPOC-focused charities and organizations as a way of atoning. But according to a new Rolling Stone report, the actual amount of money he wound up donating has been significantly lower.

“Before this incident my album was already doing well,” Wallen initially said during the Good Morning America appearance in July. “It was already being well-received by critics and by fans. Me and my team noticed that whenever this whole incident happened that there was a spike in my sales. So we tried to calculate what the number of — how much it actually spiked from this incident. We got to a number somewhere around $500,000, and we decided to donate that money to some organizations — BMAC [the Black Music Action Coalition] being the first one.”

But according to Rolling Stone, BMAC has received just $165,000 from Wallen, and the organization put out a statement calling the $500,000 estimate by Wallen “exceptionally misleading” and saying that “while we are appreciative of the money, which has been used to make grants directly to Black musicians through our Covid Emergency Relief Fund, we remain disappointed that Morgan has not used his platform to support any anti-racism endeavors.”

To verify that last claim, the publication reached out to 56 other Black-led or Black-founded charities and found that none of them had received any money from Wallen.

“The list was created, among other sources, via Charity Navigator’s directory of Black-founded nonprofits, numerous roundups of Tennessee charities that were prominent in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, and a compendium of Tennessee charities amassed by Give Blck, an organization that has compiled more than 700 Black-founded nonprofits nationwide,” Rolling Stone wrote to explain its methodology. “The group of charities include longtime national groups (United Negro College Fund, NAACP, Thurgood Marshall College Fund), regional popular organizations (Black Lives Matter Nashville, Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce, Gideon’s Army), and arts- and music-focused groups (National Museum of African American Music, Memphis Music Initiative, Memphis Jazz Workshop); ones that would seemingly be the likeliest subjects of Wallen’s largesse. Of the 56 charities contacted by Rolling Stone, not one said they’d been in contact with Wallen or his team or received any donation.”

Of course, it’s possible Wallen donated anonymously, but as Rolling Stone points out, that would “signal an abrupt about-face to his previous, conspicuous public mea culpas, financial declarations, and charitable endeavors.”