Jason Aldean’s controversial “Try That in a Small Town” music video was seemingly edited to remove imagery of a Black Lives Matter protest after the clip received backlash, with critics claiming that the video contained racist, pro-gun and pro-lynching messaging.
According to The Washington Post, the video is now six seconds shorter than when it was originally shared on July 14. There is no longer a clip from Fox 5 Atlanta depicting violent interactions during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in 2020.
Billboard has reached out to Aldean’s team for more information.
Last week, the country singer responded to recent claims that “Try That in a Small Town” is a “modern lynching song.” The song challenges those who “pull a gun on the owner of a liquor store” or “cuss out a cop” to, as the title suggests, try those actions in a small town and “see how far ya make it down the road.” The song’s video features footage of an American flag burning, protesters having confrontations with police, looters breaking a display case and thieves robbing a convenience store.
“In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to a comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests,” Jason wrote in his statement. “These references are not only meritless, but dangerous. There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage- and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far.”
He later addressed the controversy during his Ohio concert on Friday (July 21). “It’s been a long week and I’ve seen a lot of stuff suggesting I’m this, suggesting I’m that,” Aldean told the crowd in a fan-captured video. “I feel like everybody’s entitled to their opinion. You can think something all you want to, it doesn’t mean it’s true.”
He added, “What I am is a proud American. I’m proud to be from here. I love our country. I want to see it restored to what it once was before all 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.”
CMT has since pulled the video from its rotation after running it for three days, while Aldean’s wife, Brittany Aldean, came to his defense. On the other hand, stars like Sheryl Crow and Margo Price have spoken out against Jason Aldean’s choice to perform and release the song.