Many have accused the singer of caving to political correctness after removing news footage of the Black Lives Matter protest from his latest video, “Try That In a Small Town.” However, his label confirmed that the footage was actually removed due to copyright issues with the owner of the footage.
And Jason has been defiant in the face of the controversy over his song and music video, which some have accused of being racist and even a “pro-lynching” song after the video was filmed in front of the Maury County courthouse in Tennessee, the site of a lynching back in 1927.
Cody Johnson, Travis Tritt, Brantley Gilbert, and even George Jones’ widow Nancy are all among the names who have come out in support of Jason and his song, while others like Sheryl Crow and Sierra Ferrell have denounced the song as “hateful” and “lame.”
During his first show after the controversy erupted, Jason took a minute to discuss the song, thanking his fans for seeing through the “bullshit.”
“Here’s what I wanna say. A lot of things out there, you guys know how it is, cancel culture is a thing, that’s something that, if people don’t like what you say, they try and make sure that they can cancel you.
Which means, try and ruin your life, ruin everything. One thing I saw this week was a bunch of country music fans that could see through a lot of the bullshit, alright. I saw country music fans rally like I’ve never seen before, and it was pretty badass to watch, I gotta say, thank you guys so much.
So I have people asking me, ‘Everything’s going on with this song, do you think you’re gonna play it tonight, do you think you’re not gonna play it?’”
And this past weekend during a show just outside of Boston in Mansfield, Massachusetts, Jason once again discussed the controversy before playing “Try That In a Small Town,” comparing the message in the song to the community’s response in coming together after the Boston Marathon bombing back in 2013:
“The message that we wanted to get out there has completely gotten overshadowed by all the bullshit.
I was laying in bed last night and I’m thinking to myself, you guys would get this better than anybody, right? Because I remember a time, I think it was April of 2013, when the Boston Marathon bombings happened. You guys remember this right?
But what I saw when that happened was a whole, not a small town, a big ass town, come together, no matter the color, no matter nothing.
The whole country, and especially Boston, came together to find these two pricks that did that.
And anybody, any of you guys that would have found those guys before the cops did, I know you guys from Boston, and you guys would have beat the shit out of that dude. Either one of them.”
Jason also reiterated that the song has nothing to do with race:
“And I’ve been trying to say this: This is not about race. It’s about people getting their shit together. Acting right. Acting like they got some common sense.
So you’re hearing from the person that made the record. Everybody’s trying to tell me what I meant. ‘You meant this. You meant that.’ They don’t know what I meant.
What I meant was exactly what I just told you. We are a country, the greatest one in the world. And I know you guys are like me. You want to be able to send your kids to school and not have to worry about something happening while they’re at school. Or let them go to a movie on the weekend, just like we all did growing up, and not have to worry about, ‘Are they going to come home or not?’
To me that’s not a racial issue. I don’t give a shit what color you are. If you’re acting out, burning down buildings, costing taxpayers all this money, just for you to go and show that you’re pissed off, to me, I just don’t get that. We just are never going to see eye to eye about that shit.”
And he once again thanked fans for seeing through the noise to get the true message he was trying to send with the song:
“But I want to say, honestly, I want to say thank you guys so much. Because you guys saw what was trying to happen here over the last couple weeks.
A lot of people wanted nothing more than for this song to be something that it wasn’t. Wanted you guys to turn on me and think I was something that I wasn’t.
And it makes me very proud, the fact that all you guys can see that and go, ‘Nuh-uh. Not this time. Not this time everybody.’
And you guys took this song and the video and you guys have made this thing one of the biggest things I’ve ever had in my career. And from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you guys for hearing the song, seeing the video, watching it with an open mind, seeing what it was about.
And you guys have no idea how much that means to me. So thank y’all so much.”
Safe to say the controversy isn’t slowing Jason Aldean – or the song – down any.