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- Jason Aldean has released a music video praising small town communities in America.
- Aldean showed clips of protests, but many of those demonstrations didn’t take place in America.
- A featured clip is from a 2010 protest rally in Canada.
Jason Aldean’s latest music video, in which he praises small American towns, includes several clips from protests outside the US, including Canada and Ukraine, TikTok detectives have found.
Aldean’s “Try That In a Small Town,” praised by conservatives like former President Donald Trump, features images of people burning American flags and police confrontations with protesters during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
Aldean sings about protesters spitting on the police and rails against alleged criminals for “ambushing an old lady at a red light”. He also references a gun his grandfather gave him and invites people to try out the types of activities he thinks would “fly around town” in his small town to see how far they can “make it down the road.”
However, Destinee Stark, a content creator and activist based in Ohio, pointed out that much of the footage in the video comes from out of nowhere in the small town America that Aldean is keen to defend.
In a series of TikToks posted Thursday, Stark uncovered multiple instances where stock footage was used in the video. In one case it is a clip from Germany, sold as archive material, in which a woman confronts demonstrators. In another video, Stark identifies what she believed to be footage from a 2013 protest in Ukraine.
“So the consensus in Aldean’s video is that he protects his small community from rioters and demonstrators who are protesting the police. You’d think he would actually use footage from America,” Stark said in a TikTok. “You know, it would be difficult to protect your small town in America from a festival in Berlin, Germany.”
Aldean claimed “there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage,” as he issued a statement responding to the backlash over his song Twitter posted on Tuesday.
Multiple media outlets, including Rolling Stone, also revealed that several clips included in the video were from Canada. A clip appears to be from the 2010 G20 protests in Toronto, Rolling Stone reported.
The gun-friendly, ultra-nationalist anthem and accompanying video drew criticism online after it was revealed that it was filmed in a courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where a black man named Henry Choate was lynched in 1927. supporters of gun control and scholars studying racist violence say the video contains ads of violence, racial undertones and references to sunset cities.
Aldean, in his lengthy statement on Tuesday, denied that his song had “incited lynching,” saying there was “not a single racial reference to lyrics in the song.” Instead, he said, the song is about “that sense of community I had as a kid.”
Aldean grew up in Macon, Georgia, the state’s third largest city with a population of over 150,000.
The music video was later removed from airing on country music television. The company has not issued a public statement and a spokesman declined to comment to NPR.
Representatives for Aldean and director Shaun Silva, who has directed country music videos for stars including Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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