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Jason Aldean defends controversial song after CMT pulls music video

The country singer’s video for “Try That in a Small Town” was yanked from the airwaves after igniting a backlash.

Jason Aldean is speaking out after the controversial music video for his latest single, “Try That in a Small Town,” was pulled from airing on CMT.

“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 the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide [Black Lives Matter] protests,” the country singer tweeted Tuesday.

Calling such claims “meritless” and “dangerous,” Aldean said that his song doesn’t contain “a single lyric” referencing race and that all clips used in the video came from “real news footage.” He added, “while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far.”

Jason Aldean at the 57th Academy Of Country Music Awards

Jason Aldean at the 57th Academy Of Country Music Awards.

| Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Released last Friday, Aldean’s music video makes heavy use of imagery of protests and demonstrations. Some of the charged visuals include a burning American flag, a Molotov cocktail, and clashes between police and civilians. The song itself features loaded lyrics like: “Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that s— might fly in the city, good luck / Try that in a small town.”

CMT played “Try That in a Small Town” through the weekend before pulling the video from its rotation Monday, as first reported by Billboard. A representative for the network confirmed to EW that the video had been pulled but declined to comment further. Reps for Aldean didn’t respond to EW’s request for comment.

In his statement posted to Twitter, Aldean went on to note that he was present at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas in 2017, where a mass shooter killed 60 people. “NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart,” he wrote.

He added, “Try That In A Small Town, for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief. Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences. My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know that a lot of us in this Country don’t agree on how we get back to a sense of normalcy where we go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night. But the desire for it to- that’s what this song is about.”

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