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The music video for Jason Aldean's controversial hit song "Try That in a Small Town" has been quietly edited to remove images of a Black Lives Matter demonstration following allegations that the lyrics are pro-gun and pro-lynching. The video, which currently has an astounding 19 million views, is now six seconds shorter than when it was uploaded to YouTube on July 14. It no longer contains news footage from Fox 5 Atlanta depicting violent confrontations during the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. Portions of the news clip appeared twice in the original music video — in one instance, they were projected on the wall of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where a Black man named Henry Choate, was lynched in 1927. The courthouse was also the site of the 1946 Columbia Race Riot.
Per The Washington Post, it's unclear when exactly the video was edited, although several changes appear to have been made since last week. Amid widespread criticism, Aldean has vehemently defended his song and video, asserting that the allegations are "meritless" and "dangerous." Right-wing media also jumped on the Aldean support train, with several commentators bashing "cancel culture" and congratulating the 46-year-old country singer for unapologetically standing by his song.
Although Country Music Television officially removed Aldean's video from its channel following backlash from the NAACP and several online critics, the song continues to rise to popularity. "Try That in a Small Town" broke into the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 2 on Tuesday.