Stories about Blake Shelton and Hank Williams Jr. taking on CMT are also fake.
Following a satire site posting a story that Luke Bryan, in solidarity with his friend Jason Aldean, has asked CMT to pull his music videos from the channel, posters on social media have run wild with the untrue story.
Earlier this week, a CMT representative confirmed to Billboard that the outlet had stopped playing the video for Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” after playing it for three days following its July 14 release but did not comment further. The controversial video features footage of lootings, protesters taunting police, flag burnings and a convenience store robbery taking Aldean’s song about small town residents not allowing such actions within their city limits to a new level.
On Friday (July 21), satirical website Uplifting Today posted a story with the headline, “Luke Bryan pulls his videos from CMT over Jason Aldean debacle: ‘Folks, it’s time for the Bud Light Treatment.’” Though it’s almost immediately clear upon reading the accompanying story that it is satire—the article claims that the President has canceled his CMT subscription and that Billy Ray Cyrus, following a challenge by Bryan, is writing a follow up to “Achy Breaky Heart” called “Achy Breaky Cart” about “a dangerous run-in at a rural Walmart”—but it would seem that many readers did not read beyond the headline and began posting the headline on social media, including Twitter.
They also missed the small print at the end of the story: Uplifting Today produces news satire and parody for global publication. Some of the content contained within this website and on accompanying social media accounts, however similar to real events, is fictitious and will also include this disclaimer. Any real, semi-real or similar names, places, people, products, services and locales are used purely for satirical purposes, and the corresponding story details are purely fictional.
That hasn’t stopped Aldean supporters posting the headline across social media and even chatter within the country music community wondering if other artists were asking for removal.
A representative for CMT confirms that Bryan, nor any other artist, has requested their videos be pulled from the channel. Bryan’s publicist did not reply to a request for comment.
In related news, Nashville’s E3 Chophouse, which Bryan and Aldean are both investors in, posted today on Twitter that it is not playing CMT. “We stand with Jason! E3 supports the small town because that is who we are! We will not air CMT at any of our restaurants until a formal apology is made and Jason’s music video is reinstated.”
1st News has reached out to E3 Chophouse asking if the restaurant had been playing CMT in its restaurant prior to CMT’s action but has not heard back.
UPDATE: Two other fake stories from another parody site, Dunning-Kruger Times, have also been making the rounds and are untrue. One story states that Hank Williams Jr., whose 1981 hit “A Country Boy Can Survive,” similarly praised rural living over city life, has resigned from CMT’s board in support of Aldean. Another says that Blake Shelton has backed out of a $30 million deal with the country music outlet. The Shelton article, penned by Flagg Eagleton, ends with the line “Losing everything in a completely fictional storyline can be devastating,” but apparently that wasn’t enough to keep some people from questioning if the news were true.