Fans of country singer Jason Aldean are calling for a boycott of the Country Music Television network after it pulled his single “Try That in a Small Town.”
On Tuesday, the network confirmed to Forbes that it pulled the controversial music video — which features pro-gun lyrics — causing an outcry among Aldean fans.
The network’s decision to boot the song and its music video came after pushback against the lyrics, which some critics labeled as “pro-lynching” and filled with racist “dog whistles.” But there was also controversy because the video was filmed in front of a courthouse in Tennessee where Henry Choate, a Black teenager, was lynched publicly in 1927 by 350 white men, The Washington Post reported.
The 18-year-old was accused of attacking a white teenage girl, who couldn’t “positively identify Choate as the assailant.” However, Choate confessed to the crime “in an effort to save his life,” the newspaper reported.
After the men kidnapped the teen from jail, Choate was hanged from a second story balcony of the Maury County Courthouse, which is also featured in Aldean’s video. The noose that was wrapped around Choate’s neck continued to hang at the courthouse for weeks, according to The Washington Post.
Aldean has denied any racial undertones in his song, instead saying those accusations are “not only meritless, but dangerous.”
Now, some big names are backing the CMT boycott, including former President Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., across multiple social network platforms.
“Jason Aldean is a fantastic guy who just came out with a great new song,” Donald Trump said on his Truth Social platform . “Support Jason all the way. MAGA!!!”
Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter to voice his displeasure and called for fans to “push back” regarding the network’s decision.
“How on earth is this video controversial?” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted. “Why would @cmt take it down? Support @Jason_Aldean and other artists who have the guts to tell the truth… watch it, download it, and push back against the bs.”
Other celebrities and fans also tweeted out some strong words to CMT.
Plenty of people have supported the network’s decision to drop the song, which has lyrics offering “good luck” to anyone trying to “round up” guns. In the song, Aldean sings of “good ol’ boys” and gives an ominous warning to people stepping on American flags and confronting police officers.
“Around here, we take care of our own,” he sings. “You cross that line, it won’t take long for you to find out, I recommend you don’t try that in a small town.”
Many people, including singer Sheryl Crow, have also pointed out that Aldean was present during theLas Vegas massacre in 2017, where a 64-year-old man open fired on the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival, killing 60 people and wounding 867.
Aldean was onstage performing “When She Says Baby” when the shooting started.
The singer took to Twitter on Tuesday and shared a lengthy statement regarding the backlash of the song.
“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,” Aldean wrote.
“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.”