The music video for Jason Aldean’s latest hit, Try That in a Small Town, is now six seconds shorter after footage of an Atlanta Black Lives Matter riot was removed over copyright issues.
A source close to the situation told the New York Post that the footage showing cars set on fire in the city came from Fox 5 Atlanta.
The source said that the production company that made the video, TackleBox Films, contacted Fox on May 8 to ask permission to use the local affiliate’s clip in the video.
They claimed that Fox asked for more information about the song, including its lyrics. TackleBox allegedly sent Fox a link to the song, but didn’t send the lyrics in writing, per protocol.
When the music video for the song was uploaded to YouTube on July 14, the footage was seen projected onto the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee.
The source said that Fox reached out to Tacklebox and gave a "polite ultimatum" to remove the footage or face legal action.
The production company complied, and the footage was cut from the music video around a week ago.
BBR Music Group, Aldean’s record label, said in a statement "the video was edited due to third-party copyright clearance issues."
The New York Post also noted that the end of the video has also changed, with a news anchor’s voiceover stating “Farmers are dropping their own crops for the day. A friend is in need, and they’ve come to help," has been removed, as well as a clip of a man in a wheelchair stating, “It’s what this community — what a lot of communities — stand for: Somebody needs some help, you’ll get it."
It is currently unclear why this footage was removed.
Aldean’s song has faced strong backlash since the music video was released, with the music video being pulled from Country Music Television.
In a statement on July 18, Aldean said, "In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests."
"These references are not only meritless, but dangerous. 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."
Aldean said the song "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."
Aldean has faced backlash for the location of the video, the Maury County Courthouse, which served as the site of the 1946 Columbia Race Riot and was the location of a lynching in 1927.
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