On July 20, 2023, claims began to spread across social media platforms that singer Luke Bryan was pulling his videos from Country Music Television (CMT). The claim spread after the music video for Jason Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town" was pulled by the television network following backlash over the song's lyrics, as well as the music video featuring a Tennessee courthouse where a Black teenager was lynched in 1927.
"Uh oh," the TikTok video about Bryan said. The video showed an article that claimed Bryan had pulled his videos off CMT, stating the network would get nothing from his label until Aldean was given a formal apology and his video was reinstated on the network. "Try That in a Small Town" played in the background of the video.
We found the article came from the dunning-kruger-times.com website, which said:
Luke Bryan Pulls His Videos From CMT: "Time For The Bud Light Treatment"
Luke Bryan has more than two dozen videos on Country Music Television (CMT) that earn the network tens of thousands of dollars per month. Or should we say "had."
Standing in solidarity with his good friend Jason Aldean, Bryan notified CMT that he was pulling their license to use his material effective immediately. "Your network isn't fit for my music," he reportedly told Executive Vice President Joe Barron, "Until you reinstate Jason's video and issue him a formal apology, you get nothing from my label."
"Good for Luke Bryan!," a Twitter post said on July 20, 2023. "@CMT is darn sTupid because the majority of country music fans are Patriots who loves this country and can definitively relate to Jason Aldean's "Try that in a small town" #IStandWithJasonAldean."
Good for Luke Bryan! @CMT is darn sTupid because the majority of country music fans are Patriots who loves this country and can definitively relate to Jason Aldean's "Try that in a small town"#IStandWithJasonAldean pic.twitter.com/TlgUR7EMQx
— ꪻꫝể ꪻꫝể (@TheThe1776) July 21, 2023
Attached to the Twitter post was a screenshot of an article, which we found came from a website called Uplifting Today. The article said:
Luke Bryan pulls his videos from CMT over Jason Aldean debacle: "Folks, it's time for the Bud Light treatment"
A political scandal of a musical magnitude unfolded this week in Nashville, as the ripples of the Aldean-Bryan Country Music Television (CMT) clash reached Oval Office itself.
Indeed, in a bizarre twist of events, the President has been reported to cancel his CMT subscription (which literally no one though he had) in a symbolic act of "tuning out the country noise".
Neither of these articles was real. We've fact-checked stories about dunning-kruger-times.com before and have found the website describes its content as fiction. The website's About Us page said:
Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.
As for the Uplifting Today article, the following disclaimer was written at the bottom of the article:
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. The articles contained herein are to be considered satire, parody, surrealism, and humor. Any resemblance to actual persons, businesses, or events is entirely coincidental. Images on Uplifting Today site may consist of original photos, stock photography, and creative commons photos. We have done our best to attribute the creators of such photos based on the information available to us. Use of these works does not suggest that the respective authors endorse us or our use of the images.
In short, there was no evidence that Bryan had pulled his music videos from CMT. At the time of this writing, no reputable publications had reported that he had done so. We reached out to Bryan's publicist and will update this check if we hear back.
For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.