Jason Aldean‘s wife Brittany is defending her country star husband amid the backlash to “Try That in a Small Town,” after many listeners have denounced the song and music video as “racist dogwhistling” and glorification of gun-based vigilante justice.
In an Instagram Stories slide, Brittany puts the blame on the “media” for misconstruing the message behind the song.
“Media…it’s the same song and dance. Twist everything you can to fit your repulsive [narrative],” she writes, against a backdrop of a cloudy sky and a palm tree blowing in the wind.
“How about instead of creating stories, we focus on the REAL ones such as CHILD TRAFFICKING? Food for thought,” Brittany continues.
“Try That in a Small Town,” a single that Aldean released in May, came under especially heated criticism over the weekend following the release of the song’s music video. Much of the clip was filmed in front of the Maury County courthouse in Columbia, Tenn., which is where, in 1927, the body of an 18-year-old Black man named Henry Choate was hung after he was lynched and killed by a mob.
CMT pulled the video after its first weekend in circulation, and the song’s critics have denounced its messaging as a not-so-subtle celebration of “sundown towns,” interpreting Aldean’s lyrics as racially motivated threats to outsiders and minorities. The backlash also criticizes Aldean’s pro-gun stance, especially due to the fact that he was the performer on stage during the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting, which killed 60 people and injured over 400 more, making it the deadliest shooting by a lone gunman in American history.
And while some listeners have called for an apology from Aldean, Brittany shared a post making it very clear that from her perspective, he has nothing to be sorry for.
“Never apologize for speaking the truth,” she wrote in the caption of a photo of the two of them, along with emojis of a heart and an American flag.
On Tuesday (July 18), Aldean shared a lengthier social media statement about the backlash against his song, saying that the accusations against him are “not only meritless, but dangerous” and emphasizing that he doesn’t mention race in any of the lyrics of “Try That in a Small Town.”
He also spoke to those who criticized the way he sings about gun ownership in the song, acknowledging the tragedy that took place at Route 91 in 2017 and saying, “NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart.”
Brittany herself is no stranger to controversy. In 2022, she feuded with Maren Morris and other artists including Cassadee Pope after Morris and Pope called out an Instagram reel Brittany posted as transphobic; Brittany subsequently appeared on Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss her views on gender-affirmative care for trans youth, in a segment that branded Morris as a “Lunatic Country Music Person.”
Brittany and Morris would go on to each launch a limited line of T-shirts centered around the squabble, benefiting their respective charities of choice. For Brittany, that was Operation Light Shine, a Nashville-based organization which combats human trafficking and child exploitation. For Morris, it was the Trans Lifeline and the GLAAD Transgender Media Program.
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