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Conservatives Call For Country Music TV Boycott After Jason Aldean Video Gets Pulled

Cable channel CMT angered conservatives after pulling Aldean's 'Try That in a Small Town' following allegations it promotes lynching.

Jason Aldean
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Country Music Television (CMT) found itself at the center of a heated debate as leading conservatives called for a boycott of the network. The controversy arose after CMT made the decision to pull the music video for Jason Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town" prompting a wave of backlash from conservative circles.

The hypocrisy of the leading critics of cancel culture calling for yet another boycott was once again lost on them.

The music video, released on Monday, came under scrutiny for allegedly promoting racism and advocating for vigilante justice. Filmed at the Maury County Courthouse in Tennessee—a site infamous for a historical lynching in 1927—the video raised concerns about its content and potential hidden undertones.

It also brought up the history of "sundown towns."

Despite Aldean's denial of any offensive undertones—claiming the song merely celebrates the virtues of living in Anywhere, USA—conservatives have stood firm in their support of what they view as an anthem against marginalized people protesting systemic injustice.

Indeed, many conservatives called for a boycott of CMT.

Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert also weighed in, writing:

"Whenever they try and censor us, we only go stronger. Time for CMT to get the Bud Light treatment."

The call for a boycott stems from the success of previous boycott efforts, such as the one against Bud Light which led to a significant decline in sales for the beer brand. Conservatives have taken to social media to express their outrage, with some prominent Republicans calling on CMT to receive the "Bud Light treatment."

However, the situation with CMT presents a unique challenge for those calling for a boycott.

As a cable channel, CMT is typically part of a bundled package that consumers have little control over. Even if viewers refuse to turn to the channel, CMT would still receive revenue from subscription fees, making it difficult to gauge the immediate impact of a boycott.

Others have defended CMT's decision and pointed out the fruitlessness of a conservative boycott.

Aldean's song has also faced criticism within the country music sphere, specifically from fellow musician Sheryl Crow.

Being from a small town herself, Crow argued that even residents of such communities are fed up with violence.

Crow addressed Aldean directly, highlighting the contradiction in promoting violence while representing small-town America. She reminded him of his own experience surviving a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, which claimed the lives of 60 people and left hundreds injured.

Aldean has attempted to reinterpret "Try That in a Small Town" as a song reflecting the sense of "community" he experienced growing up, emphasizing the unity among neighbors, regardless of differences.

However, critics argue that the video's content and messaging overshadow any intended positive interpretation at a time when many around the nation are pushing for comprehensive gun control measures in response to a spate of increasingly common mass shootings.