Americans on Broadway responded to critics who say country music star Jason Aldean’s song "Try That In A Small Town" and its accompanying video evoke vigilantism and racism.
"I think it's a bunch of sissies making a big deal out of, you know—it's free speech, first of all," Carmen said outside Aldean’s Nashville bar. "don't think it's a racial thing at all. I think that's the way he feels about our country."
But Darren was more open to critics.
"Everybody has different opinions. Every everybody's different," he said. "It's a big country."
"I say artistic freedom," Darren added.
Critics have argued the Aldean song’s message — that big city behavior like stomping the flag or swearing at cops wouldn’t be well received in a small town — and the accompanying riot footage in the video promote race-based violence. Video of Aldean and his band was also shot in front of a Tennessee courthouse where a mob lynched a Black man in 1927.
Aldean disputed the accusations, tweeting that no lyrics in the song references race and that all the clips were of real news footage. He also pointed out that he was performing at Route 91 Music Harvest Festival in Las Vegas in 2017 when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 and injuring hundreds.
"It is absolutely overblown," Nancy said. "He's just saying small town values, we're going to take care of each other."
"I don't think it had anything to do with race," she said. "The song was just a very basic song about living in a small town, and I don't understand how it was correlated at all with anything else."
The video for "Try That In A Small Town" was released July 14 and was played heavily on CMT until the network pulled it from rotation earlier this week without explanation. But out of more than a dozen people who spoke to Fox News in Nashville, none saw a problem with the video.
"I thought it's a beautiful song," Carol said. "Everybody's going to take it the way they want."
"Either it's freedom of speech or it's not," Lori said. "One way or the other. We don't get it both ways."