Country music star Jason Aldean has recently found himself disputing claims that his controversial music video for the song “Try That in a Small Town” had racist undertones.
In an interview with “CBS Mornings,” Aldean addressed the accusations and expressed his confusion about the backlash. During the interview, reporter Jan Crawford summarized the public’s reaction to the video, stating that some saw it as threatening for Black people, with instances of it being shared on platforms like TikTok.
Aldean responded by highlighting the diverse cast in the video, including people of different races, and explained that the video did not single out any specific group as the problem.
The music video for “Try That in a Small Town” was released in July and faced immediate criticism. The song itself had already been accused of featuring pro-gun and pro-violence lyrics.
However, the video intensified the backlash as it was filmed in front of a courthouse in Colombia, Tennessee, where a Black man was lynched in the 1920s.
It also included real-life footage of rallies, looting, and riots directed at police officers. Addressing the choice of location, Aldean stated that he was unaware of the building’s history and, had he known, he probably would not have filmed there.
He also acknowledged that racial issues have occurred in many small-town courthouses. However, he emphasized that the video intended to portray lawlessness, disrespect for law enforcement, and the destruction of cities rather than promoting racism.
The video’s controversy led to its removal from airing on CMT and criticism from prominent figures in the country music industry, such as Sheryl Crow.
Crow tweeted a message to Aldean, expressing her disappointment in the promotion of violence and stating that it was not reflective of small-town America.
Jason Aldean, who himself experienced a mass shooting during a performance in 2017, defended the song and video through his social media platforms. He argued that the accusations of promoting lynching or opposing the Black Lives Matter movement were baseless and dangerous.
Aldean clarified that the song’s lyrics did not reference race, and the video incorporated actual news footage. In subsequent interviews and concerts, Aldean spoke out against “cancel culture” and emphasized his love for his country and his desire to see it restored.
He maintained that the video showcased actual events and that he was not condoning or endorsing the depicted actions.
The full interview with Jason Aldean on “CBS Mornings” aired on November 1, allowing the audience to gain further insight into his perspective on the controversy surrounding the music video.
While the interpretation of artistic works can vary, Aldean, in his defense, highlights the importance of considering the context and intention behind a creative piece. As the debate continues, it is essential to encourage open dialogue and understanding to bridge the gaps in perception and promote constructive discussions about sensitive topics.