Morgan Wallen is one of the fastest rising stars of mainstream country music, a young Voice-bred hit-maker who recently debuted a song in the Hot 100 top 10 via the pre-release TikTok promotion more common to pop and rap artists. Wallen is such a big deal that he's set to appear this weekend on Saturday Night Live. But don't be surprised if that gig falls into Wallen's crazy weekend in Alabama.
Morgan Wallen Under Maskless Party Scrutiny Before 'SNL'
As Morgan Wallen 's videos socializing without a mask — at a crowded bar and at a house party, among other places — circulate widely over the internet, the young country star has begun to scrutinize his Oct. 10 appearance on "Saturday Night Live" amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Wallen can be spotted with a kerchief around his neck in numerous TikToks documented by AL.com, partying with fans during a trip to Alabama — and in one video, dated Monday, engaging in a smooch with what appears to be a fan less than a week before he's set to take the stage in Studio 8H.
Wallen took heat on Twitter, criticizing the singer for his cavalier attitude toward the COVID-19 crisis.
Representatives for "SNL" and NBC refused to comment about what distancing procedures hosts and musical guests should follow. Wallen's reps didn't answer Tuesday's multiple requests for comments.
"SNL" cast and crew seem to follow social distancing rules, as shown by last week's Instagram post showing Oct. 3 host Chris Rock and cast members wearing masks at a read-through while seated at individual desks spaced generously apart, as some members of the balcony production watch. Rock 's appearance marked Season 46 premiere of the long-running sketch show, featuring Jim Carrey as Joe Biden and Alec Baldwin as President Trump.
In a recent interview with Vulture, chief "SNL" Lorne Michaels said the production team had engaged in meetings to discuss how many people could be in the studio and control room at a time, and how the band could be spaced apart "so they're not in any danger."
Bill Burr will host this Saturday's show, during which Wallen will perform.