Setting The Record Straight: Luke Bryan Did Not Ask CMT To Pull His Music Videos Amid The Jason Aldean Controversy

Despite the rumors swirling online, Luke Bryan DID NOT request that his music videos, or any of his works, be pulled from CMT.

By

Melinda Lorge

| Posted on

July 23, 2023

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Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean; Photos by Andrew Wendowski

Luke Bryan has found himself in the middle of the controversy surrounding Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town” music video after a satirical website posted false claims about him that many believed to be true. 

On Friday (July 21) Uplifting Today, a website that features satire, humor, and parodies, shared a story that included the headline: “Luke Bryan pulls his videos from CMT over Jason Aldean debacle: ‘Folks, it’s time for the Bud Light Treatment.’”

According to Billboard, several folks, who saw the headline, jumped to conclusions without reading past the big bold lettering. And, despite Uplifting Today’s disclaimer below the post, which states, “Uplifting Today produces news satire and parody for global publication. Some of the content contained within this website and on accompanying social media accounts, however similar to real events, is fictitious and will also include this disclaimer….,”  the publication’s headline caused folks in support of its message to re-post the story on Twitter, and share their thoughts and opinions on Bryan and Aldean. 

“I stand with #LukeBryan and #JasonAldean,” one person tweeted.  

“(RETWEET) if you think every country music star should join Luke Bryan and stand with Jason Aldean,” another person wrote. 

“Luke Bryan just pulled his videos off CMT to support Jason Aldean. Good for him. Every country singer should do this. CMT is woke garbage,” a third tweet reads. 

It has since been confirmed that Bryan has not asked to have his music videos pulled out of CMT’s rotations in solidarity with Jason Aldean. Nor has any other artist for that matter. In addition, Bryan has not challenged his fellow artists “to write a song about their own experiences growing up in small towns and the dangers that lurk there for unsuspecting out-of-towners,” as the Uplifting Today’s website wrote in its satire article.

To be clear, Billy Ray Cyrus is also not working on a follow-up to “Achy Breaky Heart” called “Achy Breaky Cart” about “a dangerous run-in at a rural Walmart, ” and Toby Keith is not building a new network called “Real Country Television” (RCT).

However, in response to the CMT’s decision to drop Aldean’s music video from its rotation, Nashville’s E3 Chophouse, a restaurant that is partially owned by Bryan and Aldean has decided to ban CMT’s content in its facilities, tweeting out: “We stand with Jason! E3 supports the small town because that is who we are! We will not air CMT at any of our restaurants until a formal apology is made and Jason’s music video is reinstated.”

For readers who need a refresher, the Country Music Television (CMT) network recently stopped playing Aldean’s music video for “Try That In A Small Town” following accusations that the clip, which includes, footage of protests, riots, lootings, and cities which previously included Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations, glorified gun violence and promoted racism. The video also features Aldean performing with his band in front of The Maury County Courthouse building in Columbia, Tenn., which, according to NPR, was a landmark for race riots in 1946 and lynching in 1927. 

Jason Aldean; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Jason Aldean; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Following accusations, Aldean, who released “Try That In A Small Town” in May, took to Twitter, defending that his song, as well as the music video, has nothing to do with race. 

“There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far….,” he wrote.

“NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart,” he added. “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. 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.”

Aldean’s music video “Try That In A Small Town” was released on July 14, in promotion for his next album. Prior to that, there wasn’t much controversy surrounding the song.

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Melinda Lorge

Written by

Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.