Sean “Diddy” Combs, as the host and executive producer of this Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, has declared that “everybody in the room is getting a second chance at life” in response to the recent bookings of Morgan Wallen and Travis Scott as performers on the broadcast.
It will mark Wallen’s first awards show appearance since he was caught on camera shouting the N-word in February 2021, while Scott will also give his first on-screen performance since the fatal crowd-rushing incident during his set at Astroworld Festival last November.
In a new interview with Billboard, Combs addressed the booking, saying:
The mood of the show is about love and forgiveness. As a musical family, none of us are saints; none of us are without things that happen to them in life. So one of the things I’m doing directly is un-canceling the canceled. That’s breaking news because people haven’t been about uncanceling. But canceling is a trend that needs to stop.
Travis went through a tragedy; Morgan [used the N-word] while talking to his boy. People make mistakes. Now we’re moving on with love and respect for everybody that was hurt or affected. It’s time to forgive. To have Morgan and Travis be able to come back and touch the stage again with the mindset of getting a second chance at life. Everybody in the room is getting a second chance at life, you know, because we’re back outside with no masks on. We need love and I’m excited about celebrating that.
News first broke that Scott would be performing on May 9th when Diddy posted a video on Instagram to proudly own the decision. He recalled, “I made a request. I made a demand. I said, ‘My brother Travis Scott has to perform’… And NBC said ‘yes.’”
The new label head, who is also donning the alter ego “Love” at the moment, is once again trying to mediate a highly sensitive and contentious public relations nightmare after briefly settling the dispute between Will Smith and Chris Rock following Smith’s controversial Oscars slap in March. His recent statement to Billboard even echoed the segue he used as a presenter following the altercation when he said, “Right now we’re moving on with love.”
Although the actors’ peace seems to have been short-lived, it’s a far more substantial undertaking for Diddy to mediate between the seemingly “canceled” Scott and Wallen and the entire discerning general public.
Find out if he’s up for the task when the Billboard Music Awards are broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 15th at 8:00 p.m. ET. Other performers include Ed Sheeran, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Silk Sonic, Florence + The Machine, Megan Thee Stallion, Latto, and Mary J. Blige.