6 Seconds Have Vanished From Aldean Music Video

Footage from BLM protests has been scrubbed from 'Try That in a Small Town' amid backlash
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
Updated Jul 26, 2023 6:34 AM CDT
Jason Aldean Rails Against 'Cancel Culture' at Concert
FILE - Jason Aldean performs during CMA Fest 2022 in Nashville, Tenn., on June 9, 2022.   (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)
UPDATE Jul 26, 2023 6:34 AM CDT

Jason Aldean may still be defiantly performing his controversial song, "Try That in a Small Town," but the music video for the song is now six seconds shorter. That's because the footage has been "quietly edited" since its initial upload on July 14 to remove references to Black Lives Matter protests, reports the Washington Post. It's not clear when the edits were made, but a clip from FOX 5 Atlanta showing BLM demonstrations has been scrubbed. Since backlash against the song started, Aldean has insisted it doesn't have anything to do with race-inspired vigilantism against Black Americans, but instead is simply a shoutout to small-town values. CMT has already pulled the video from its rotation. Meanwhile, the AP notes the song is enjoying "exponential growth," debuting in the No. 2 spot on Billboard's Hot 100—Aldean's "best showing ever" on that all-genre chart, per the New York Times.

Jul 24, 2023 12:30 AM CDT

One of Jason Aldean's latest performances included, perhaps not surprisingly, a reference to the controversy over his song "Try That in a Small Town." And, also perhaps not surprisingly, the country singer made it clear he views the backlash against the song as an example of "cancel culture," and he's not a fan. "I've seen a lot of stuff suggesting I'm this, suggesting I'm that," Aldean said Friday in Cincinnati, Ohio, per CBS News. "Hey, here's the thing, here's the thing: here's one thing I feel. I feel like everybody's entitled to their opinion. You can think, you can think something all you want to, it doesn't mean it's true, right? So what I am is a proud American, proud to be from here. I love our country. I want to see it restored to what it once was before all of this bulls--- started happening to us."

"I love my country, I love my family, and I will do anything to protect that—I can tell you that right now," Aldean continued, per Fox News. At that point the crowd broke into chants of "USA! USA!" Country Music Television (CMT) pulled the video after three days of airing, amid accusations that the song is pro-violence or even pro-lynching. Aldean told the concert audience that many people had asked him whether he would perform the song (he of course did). "I know a lot of you guys grew up like I did," he said. "You kind of have the same values, the same principles that I have, which is we want to take our kids to a movie and not worry about some a--hole coming in there shooting up the theater. So somebody asked me, 'Hey man, you think you're going to play this song tonight?' The answer was simple. The people have spoken and you guys spoke very, very loudly this week."

story continues below

Fellow country star Luke Bryan gave Aldean a shout-out at his own concert, Variety reports. "Wanna send this one out to my buddy Jason Aldean, all right," he said before a song, adding, "If you like to love one another, where you at?" But other recording artists weren't so understanding, with some pointing out Aldean also wore blackface in a 2015 controversy. Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell took a different tack, tweeting, "Dare Aldean to write his next single himself. That's what we try in my small town … I'm challenging you to write a song yourself. All alone. If you're a recording artist, make some art. I want to hear it … Seriously, how do you defend the content of a song you weren't even in the room for? You just got it from your producer." (More Jason Aldean stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.