Kelsea Ballerini Has Regrets About That Tweet She Posted During the Morgan Wallen Scandal
Kelsea Ballerini's newly-released book of poetry, Feel Your Way Through, is a journey through some of the singer's most intimate and personal experiences, such as a bout with an eating disorder she went through as a teen. Another poem in the collection, the singer reveals, was inspired by the backlash she received from a tweet regarding Morgan Wallen's racist slur scandal early in 2021.
"Did I misstep? Did I misspeak? / Did I f--k up with that one tweet?" she writes in the poem, which is titled "The Right Side of History."
A little background: Back in February, TMZ published a video of doorcam footage that showed Wallen on the tail end of a night out, stumbling up to the front steps of his house and shouting a profanity-laced goodbye to a car full of friends that included the N-word. Industry backlash immediately ensued: The singer was suspended indefinitely by his label, dropped by his booking agent, removed from country radio stations and declared ineligible for a number of upcoming awards shows.
In the hours after news of the video broke, a number of artists — including Mickey Guyton — weighed in to decry Wallen's behavior. Ballerini shared her thoughts, too, writing on Twitter at the time, "The news out of Nashville tonight does not represent country music."
While Ballerini's sentiments were well-intentioned, she quickly drew backlash from many who pointed out that the genre as a whole bears some responsibility for Wallen's actions given his massive musical success, and that racism is endemic throughout the genre, not isolated to just one of its singers. Specifically, Maren Morris replied to Ballerini's comment to say that, in fact, Wallen's comments were deeply representative of the country music community.
"... This isn't his first 'scuffle' and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless," Morris wrote. "We all know it wasn't his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse."
In a new interview with CBS This Morning's Anthony Mason, Ballerini explains that she's learned a lot from the backlash she faced for her words.
"I can acknowledge a misstep," the singer says. "I've learned that sometimes, even in the purest intentions, you should keep your mouth shut and learn. And that's what I'm doing now."
"I have had kind of a very small corner of cancel culture around that. I'm such a peace-maker by default," Ballerini goes on to say. "I'm a chronic people-pleaser," she says, adding that she hopes to continue learning and growing as time goes on.
"Standing up for anything is me crawling out of my skin, but it's something that's important to me," she reflects. "It's something that I'm trying to learn about, something that I'm in a lot of therapy about and something that I'm trying to do better and better and more eloquently, as I get older."
Elsewhere in Feel Your Way Through, Ballerini gets candid about self-love, relationships, family dynamics, sexuality and more. The book arrived on Tuesday (Nov. 16).
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