Reminding us all of the dispiriting (but also dispiritingly true) fact that white people have rarely gone broke on account of doing or saying racist things in America, Billboard reports today that, while country music artist Morgan Wallen’s radio airplay recently dropped considerably after TMZ posted a video of him shouting a racial slur that was recorded by his neighbors, sales of his music have apparently more than quadrupled.
And while we’d push back heartily on the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity—and would specifically categorize “being rightly chastised by most right-thinking people for shouting racial slurs” as a good example there, it does appear that there’s still no such thing as “ineffective” publicity. Wallen’s music was swiftly kicked off of iHeart stations and other radio venues shortly after the video was released on February 3, and his label, Big Loud Records, announced that he was “indefinitely suspended.” But Billboard reports that sales of all of Wallen’s songs jumped from 5,000 on Feb. 2 to 22,000 after the video was released, suggesting that the incident has done little more than raise his profile amongst certain parts of the country audience.
Wallen issued an apology shortly after the video began circulating, kicking off a question about how long this “indefinite” suspension from the country music establishment is likely to last. On the one hand, both the Academy Of Country Music and the Country Music Association have condemned Wallen for his comments. On the other, well…Music industry executives tend to really like sales, you know? It’s, like, their whole thing.