The video for country singer Jason Aldean’s hit single “Try That in a Small Town” was reportedly edited to remove six seconds of video showing Black Lives Matter protests, according to The Washington Post.
Aldean, 46, has come under fire since releasing the song earlier this month for the content of the lyrics and for using clips of a BLM protest in the video.
The Daily Mail reported that the video no longer contains a Fox 5 Atlanta news clip showing clashes during a BLM riot in 2020.
Fox 5 Atlanta had requested a copy of the song lyrics prior to granting permission to use the clip but did not receive them before the video was released, according to sources who spoke with TMZ.
TMZ reported that Fox issued a “polite ultimatum” to cut the clip from the video last week to avoid legal action being taken, which the production company then complied with.
Despite the controversy surrounding it, the song has become wildly popular since being released, climbing the Billboard Hot 100 chart to hit the No. 2 spot and racking up more than 19 million views on YouTube.
Country Music Television (CMT) took the video down after three days following backlash from NAACP officials, social media critics, and singer Sheryl Crow, who claimed the song promotes violence and contended the video features a lynching site.
Aldean opens the song by singing, “Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you’re tough / Well, try that in a small town.”
He previously said the single was inspired by the “unspoken rule” in small towns that “we all have each other’s backs, and we look out for each other.”
“It feels like somewhere along the way, that sense of community and respect has gotten lost,” he reportedly said. “Deep down we are all ready to get back to that.”
Aldean doubled down on his support for the song at his show last Friday in Cincinnati, Ohio, saying, “I’ve seen a lot of stuff suggesting I am this, suggesting I am that.”
“Here’s the thing: I feel like everybody is entitled to their opinion,” he said, according to the Mail. “You can think something all you want to — it doesn’t mean it is true. What I am is a proud American. I love our country, I want to see it restored to what it once was before all this bulls*** started happening to us.”
“I love my country; I love my family, and I will do anything I can to protect that,” he told the sold-out crowd at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center.