CMT faces fierce backlash online after yanking Jason Aldean's music video: 'Shameful'

Jason Aldean called accusations his song was racist 'meritless' and 'dangerous'

Fans lashed out at Country Music Television, after it pulled singer Jason Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town" music video this week following accusations it was racist.

Aldean had enraged liberal activists with the new music video, which has anti-crime, pro-law enforcement themes and tells criminals that their behavior won't be tolerated in rural America. The music video plays footage from left-wing riots and smash-and-grab robberies. Activists accused the song of being racist and promoting violence.

"Yeah, ya think you're tough? Well, try that in a small town, see how far ya make it down the road. Around here, we take care of our own, you cross that line, it won't take long for you to find out, I recommend you don't," Aldean sings in the video.

CMT confirmed it pulled the music video off the air Monday, angering Aldean fans and free speech advocates.


cmt faces fierce backlash online after yanking jason aldeans music video shameful

Jason Aldean defended his latest music video for new country song, "Try That in a Small Town." (Monica Murray)

"UNBELIEVABLE - CMT just CANCELLED this music video by Jason Aldean about the Antifa-BLM riots SO THE CMT HAS GONE WOKE," one Twitter user reacted.

Another slammed the network for censoring the singer, drawing attention to other musical artists whose songs are allowed to stay on the air despite having explicit themes.

"CMT is censoring Jason Aldean’s new music video ‘Try that in a Small Town,' he said. "Most mainstream artists promote drugs, gangs, violence, and sleeping around Jason says ‘hey let’s not rob old ladies and burn down cities’ and CMT bans his video. Screw @CMT."

Radio host Dana Loesch agreed there was nothing controversial about the video.

"Literally nothing, nothing remotely 'controversial' about his song or the video. @CMT is a bunch of female copulatory organs," Loesch ripped the network.


cmt faces fierce backlash online after yanking jason aldeans music video shameful

CMT confirmed to media outlets it pulled the song off the air this week. (Jason Kempin)

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley argued the decision could hurt the television network financially and was damaging to "artistic freedom and free speech."

"...Putting aside CMT's effort to become the BudLight of networks, the decision to yield to the intense cancel campaign is an abandonment of principles of artistic freedom and free speech," he wrote.

BlazeTV host Chad Prather praised the "badass patriotic" song and lamented CMT's "shameful" decision to pull it.

Several conservatives hoped the decision would backfire and bring more listeners to Aldean's song.

"Welcome to the most downloaded song of 2023, Mr. Aldean. I just purchased it," another user shared.

Liberal activists praised the decision, however.

Gun control activist Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, touted she was "Proud to have had a hand in getting CMT to reject this racist and violent song."

CMT did not return a request for comment on Wednesday.

The country singer addressed the controversy on Tuesday, denying the song was racial and arguing it was meant to be unifying.

"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 BLM protests," Aldean shared with fans.

He called these suggestions "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," Aldean slammed.

cmt faces fierce backlash online after yanking jason aldeans music video shameful

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 22: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jason Aldean attends the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on March 22, 2022. 

The country singer went on to explain he wrote the song as a desire to turn the country away from violence and uplift the idea of communities and neighbors taking care of each other, regardless of politics.

"As so many pointed out, I was present at Route 91-where so many lost their lives- and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy. NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart. 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," Aldean said.

"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," he wrote.

Kristine Parks is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Read more.

Authored by Kristine Parks via FoxNews July 19th 2023