(NEXSTAR) – Jason Aldean has nearly no regrets about his music video “Try That in a Small Town,” which spurred backlash with its release earlier this year. If granted an opportunity to do it over again, he would change almost nothing, the country singer told CBS News in an interview.
The music video shows protesters clashing with police, an American flag burning on the ground, and surveillance footage of robberies, before Aldean sings, “Try that in a small town, see how far you make it down the road.”
Critics said the video included racist depictions and the song promotes vigilante violence. Country Music Television (CMT) ended up pulling the music video following the backlash.
Aldean continued to defend the song’s lyrics and the video’s contents in his interview with CBS. “There was people of all color doing stuff in the video,” he said. “There was white people in there. There was Black people. I mean, this video did not shine light on one specific group and say, ‘That’s the problem.'”
Another part of the music video critics took issue with was its setting. Aldean and his band perform in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Tennessee, where Henry Choate, a Black 18-year-old, was lynched in 1927. His attackers accused him of raping a 16-year-old white girl, but historians now believe those accusations were false, the New York Times reports.
Aldean said he wasn’t aware the building was the site of a famous lynching when he picked the location.
“But I also don’t go back a hundred years and check on the history of a place before we go shoot it either,” he told CBS News. “It’s also the place that I go get my car tags every year. It’s my county that I live in.”
When pressed by journalist Jan Crawford, he admitted he would probably rethink the music video’s setting if he were to go back and do it over.
“I would do it over again, every time,” Aldean said.
“Minus the setting?” Crawford asked.
“Knowing what I know now, obviously, knowing that that was gonna be a thing, you know, maybe you look at doing it somewhere else.”
Throughout the interview, Aldean continued to defend his choices – as he has over the past several months – saying, “I don’t feel bad about that because I know my intentions behind, you know, shooting the video there and recording the song and everything.”