Nashville Council Rejects Morgan Wallen’s Bar Sign Amid Racial Controversy, Reckless Antics


In a recent turn of events, Nashville international country star Morgan Wallen found himself in the limelight once again, and not for his chart-topping hits. Plans for a radiant sign at Wallen’s soon-to-open establishment, the This Bar & Tennessee Kitchen, met a resounding rejection from Nashville councilmembers. The council members cited not only Wallen’s use of a racial slur, which ignited controversy last year but also his antics involving furniture projectiles and local law enforcement.

Tuesday evening saw the Nashville Metro Council in an unequivocal display of democratic unity with a 30-3 vote against the proposed sign for Wallen’s music-saturated gastro pub, set to open its doors this weekend. A glowing billboard over a public sidewalk, similar to Wallen’s current situation, is typically an uncontroversial matter, given local government approval.

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However, this time, voices rose from the political sphere, denouncing Wallen’s comments as fueled by hate and his actions as harmful. Councilmembers griped about Wallen’s multiple second chances, bemoaning the public endorsement of such deeds. Councilmember Delishia Porterfield, a Black woman, made her stance clear, expressing her objection to a billboard bearing the name of a person accountable for flinging chairs from balconies and articulating racial slurs.

Councilmember Jacob Kupin presented the proposal, confessing to having wrestled with what to do due to Wallen’s misbehavior. He threw light on the efforts of TC Restaurant Group, a third-party organization managing the business, praising them as “really, a good partner.” Their efforts aligned with revitalizing downtown Nashville’s safety goals, he expressed.

Despite the controversy, Kupin pushed back slightly. He reasoned that the presence of someone’s name on a bar wasn’t an endorsement of their behavior. However, he applauded the efforts made to amend the situation and called for restraint in punishing the operator for the actions of a named patron.

The often volatile Wallen saw a delay in his initial court hearing until August 15th. Claiming to be the innocent party, law enforcement officials steadfastly maintain that Wallen’s reckless antics involved a chair, a rooftop, gravity, and an unsuspecting duo of police officers. Personnel from the Chief’s bar – the presumed scene of Wallen’s alleged gravity-defying act – corroborated police version of events, affirming that Wallen did indeed hurl a chair from the roof, even indulging in some laughter afterward.

The implications of Wallen’s rooftop rendezvous don’t end there. He is facing three felony counts of reckless endangerment along with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. In a statement, Wallen candidly acknowledged his responsibility for his actions, expressing regret and the desire to make amends, adding that he’s touched base with law enforcement.

The “One Thing at a Time” singer soared to the top of the Billboard 200 in 2023 with his album remaining there for a remarkable 16 weeks, rendering it the most-consumed album stateside last year. However, one of his less proud moments from 2021 saw him ousted indefinitely from his label after video surfaced of him utilizing a racial slur, an ignorant move he later admitted to.

Wallen’s new watering hole isn’t too far from Kid Rock’s, another site of earlier sign controversy. Prior to a 2019 vote, the conspicuous design featuring a guitar with a feminine posterior met criticism from some council members. Ultimately, the design was approved, making this current refusal of Wallen’s signage a striking contrast.