Country music star Morgan Wallen was to make his Saturday Night Live debut on Oct. 10.
The sketch show has now pulled the plug on his appearance as a musical guest after the release of a TikTok video featuring the mask-free country star downing shots at a crowded house party where social distancing was not taking place.
Earlier this week, Morgan shared a video on Instagram revealing he’d been contacted by the show and informed that his behaviour was in violation of the show’s strict pandemic protocols and he was no longer invited to perform.
On Friday morning, the show revealed that rock musician Jack White would be taking his place, with comedian Bill Burr making his debut as host.
This will be White’s third appearance on SNL, and his second as a solo artist.
Lorne Michaels sat down with NBC’s Willie Geist for an interview slated to air on this weekend’s Sunday Today, and he discussed how Wallen’s TikTok video left the show in a tight spot.
“He was very gracious. He made an Instagram post saying I screwed up,” Geist told Michaels in a sneak peek of the interview.
“Yeah, and it probably isn’t the first country singer or person from rock ‘n’ roll who partied after, in that case, a big football game or a concert. We are just living in a different time and everything is scrutinized,” Michaels said, telling Geist the show was in the midst of booking White for the show.
Michaels also spoke about the difficulties in lining up a musical guest on such short notice.
“I mean, it depends on whether their band is together, calling somebody on a Thursday to be here by Friday is complicated,” Michaels explained. “It has to be people who are ready to go.”
Lorne Michaels revealed the new @nbcsnl musical guest after Morgan Wallen was removed for breaching COVID-19 protocols. Catch the full interview with @WillieGeist on #SundayTODAY. pic.twitter.com/3VsNILgBH4
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 9, 2020
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