Country Music Television has pulled a music video for “Try That in a Small Town” by country music star Jason Aldean, which was filmed at the site of a lynching, amid accusations that its lyrics and message are offensive.
The video, released in May, was filmed outside the Morey County courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, a known site of the lynching in 1927 of Henry Chute, an 18-year-old black man, and is interspersed with violent news footage. , including protests. an American flag draped between the central columns of the building, while Aldan, strumming his guitar, recounts what he imagines as big-city behavior that would not be well received in a small town; “The Kidnapping of an Old Lady”; “Curse of a Cop”; “Step on the flag.”
State Representative Justin Jones of Tennessee, a Democrat, condemned the song on Twitterdescribing it as “an outrageous song of racial violence” that promoted “a shameful vision of gun extremism and vigilance”.
On Tuesday, CMT confirmed via email that it had stopped streaming the video on Monday, but offered no explanation. The news was first reported by painting.
Aldean defended himself on Twitterconfirming that he is being accused of “releasing a pro-homicide song” and that he is “very unhappy” with the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
“These references are not only baseless, but dangerous,” he said. “There isn’t a single lyric in the song that references or references race — there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage — and while I can try and respect others to get their own interpretation of a song with music — this song goes far.”
Aldean then referenced his 2017 performance at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, where a gunman opened fire from a hotel room, killing 58 people.
“Nobody, myself included, wants to keep seeing foolish headlines or families torn apart,” Aldean said. He added that the song refers to the “community feeling” he had growing up, where neighbors looked after each other, regardless of differences in background or belief.
“My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know a lot of us in this country don’t agree on how we can get back to a sense of normalcy where we go at least one day without a headline that keeps us up at night. Desire — that’s what it is,” Aldean said. This song is about him.
PRP Music Group, which represents Aldian, could not immediately be reached for comment.