On Morgan Wallen’s Latest Arrest (The Chair Incident)

Mug shot via Metro Nashville Police Department


Once again, Morgan Wallen has made an embarrassment of himself. And once again, it’s an embarrassment that unfortunately country music has to answer for since Wallen continues to crown the genre as country’s most popular artist. It’s also an embarrassment for his fans that despite the repeated incidents, continue to defend Wallen’s clearly indefensible actions, characterizing country fans as being as careless and dull-witted as Wallen himself.

Nonetheless, charging Morgan Wallen with three felonies and another misdemeanor for an incident where nobody was hurt, and nothing really happened seems excessively punitive from a police department in Music City that has a long track record of being overly aggressive.

What Happened:

On Sunday night, April 7th, Morgan Wallen was at Eric Church’s newly-opened bar on Lower Broadway at 200 Broadway. This is on the lower part of Lower Broadway near the river. At around 10:30 PM, Morgan Wallen reportedly threw a chair off the six story building, which landed about three feet from where two Metro Nashville Police officers and another individual were standing near a patrol car. After a brief investigation that included checking surveillance footage, police determined that it was Wallen who threw the chair.

Morgan Wallen was placed under arrest at 10:53 PM and charged with three felony counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, as well as a misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. The bond for the three reckless endangerment charges were $5,000 each, and the bond for disorderly conduct was $250.00. Wallen was booked into jail, promptly paid the $15,250, and was released at about 3:47 in the morning.

Video from the arrest, as well as a mug shot show Wallen smiling the whole time.

According to a security guard, the chair thrown in the incident was made of stainless steel and weighed about 20 pounds. For it to reach where the police officers were, it would have needed to be thrown hard as opposed to dropped over the side of the building. The motive seems to be nothing. “They just say he was being an idiot and just threw it. There really wasn’t no argument or nothing about it. Just him being drunk I feel like. He wasn’t in the right state of mind,” the security guard says.

The History:

Regard the following quote:

If Morgan Wallen was a young male suitor in pursuit of your sister or daughter, he would be one of those beaus where it is undeniable they are trouble, with not just red flags flying right out in the open, but a rap sheet to back up these presuppositions—yet at the same time they possess an irresistible charisma that almost immediately drops guards, and they know how to say and do the right things at the right times to wiggle out of trouble, and to get one everyone’s good side, despite a pattern of bad behavior.

This is Morgan Wallen’s career and music in a nutshell. He will tell you, “No I swear baby, I won’t do it again. I’ve changed,” and then get arrested outside Kid Rock’s bar on Lower Broad. He’ll then tell you he’s learned his lesson, and is taking a break on social media, only to show up on Tik-Tok making out with random co-eds in Tuscaloosa when he’s supposed to be quarantining for SNL.

Those were the opening two paragraphs to Saving Country Music’s review of Morgan Wallen’s 2021 release, Dangerous, The Double Album. Note that this opinion was shared before Morgan Wallen’s now most notorious controversy—the N-word incident in February of 2021, which made all his previous offenses look paltry, and put the entirety of country music in the crosshairs of the race debate, including the race hustlers who’ve now been on a full court press to undermine country music and exact tithes from it’s institutions so they can continue to fund their attacks.

This is something that has been fiercely relevant in the last few weeks due to the release of Beyoncé’s new album Cowboy Carter.

It was ignorant to defend Morgan Wallen then, even if you think the N-word incident was overblown (and it was). And it continues to be ignorant to defend him now. Whipping a chair off a 6-story balcony onto the extremely crowded Lower Broadway street below is indefensible even if it didn’t hit anybody. It’s remarkable that it didn’t.

And yes, country legends have done much worse things over the years, from Johnny Cash starting a forest fire, to George Jones nearly shooting one of this good friends. And yes, it’s silly that we sit back and tell these stories, starry-eyed about how “Outlaw” these guys were, and hold them up as heroes. It was stupid then, and it was stupid now. But it’s also stupid to act like Morgan Wallen has earned the same level of respect to be considered within that lot, or that this latest incident makes him any more “Outlaw” than he was before.

The Overreaction:

What’s also stupid is to act like Wallen should be a convicted felon for his actions, and that a chair flung over a balcony is the same as a Colt revolver. Often law enforcement trumps up charges knowing they will get plead down through the District Attorney. It is good that Nashville’s finest didn’t treat Wallen with kid gloves. He did deserve to be reprimanded, and perhaps even detained for the incident. But let’s not act like it’s the end of the world.

Nobody was hurt or even really affected, luckily. This is what misdemeanors are for, to deter dangerous behavior. Felonies are there for major crimes, which didn’t happen here. Morgan Wallen may be plenty stupid. But he’s not a menace to society. He’s just a menace to country music.

The Outcome:

Morgan Wallen is not a good spokesman for anything: country music, rural culture, right wing politics, hairstyle choices, or anything else. This is why he wasn’t named the CMA or ACM Entertainer of the Year, and continues to get passed over for major industry awards, despite his commercial success. It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s not “woke” culture. It’s his own inexcusable behavior, and his fans should recognize that.

You also continue to have a strange cohort of traditional country fans who seem to come out of the woodwork whenever something comes up with Wallen. They wouldn’t get caught dead listening to Wallen’s tractor rap in a previous era, but seem perfectly willing to defend him and his music to the death in a misguided effort to “own the libs.”

And as Morgan Wallen continues to get away with unfortunate incidents, it’s unlikely these incidents will stop. He already reportedly has handlers around him, though apparently they couldn’t get a handle on the chair before it fell six stories. How to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself or others is something his label and management need to get a handle on. Because fair or not, Morgan Wallen’s actions continue to reflect negatively on country music, even though Morgan Wallen is really the only one to blame.

Morgan Wallen has yet to apologize or publicly address the incident.

© 2023 Saving Country Music