Following the leak of a video showing former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious, CBS opted not to air an introduction segment featuring Don Cheadle narrating over the Jay Z and Rihanna duet "Run This Town." A comedy sketch was also scrapped.
Rihanna, who was assaulted by her then-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009, lashed out at CBS on Tuesday for re-victimizing her and for apparently planning to air the segment this Thursday. (CBS had planned to run the segment every week, a la NBC's Sunday Night Football intro with Carrie Underwood.)
"CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, F--- you! Y'all are sad for penalizing me for this," Rihanna tweeted. "The audacity ..."
Responding to the controversy, CBS said in a statement that it will not use "Run This Town" as its TNF intro: "Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements of our Thursday Night Football open. We will be using our newly created Thursday Night Football theme music to open our game broadcast."
When the network first decided to pull the song in favor of a more serious pregame report, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus told Sports Illustrated: "It's important to realize we are not overreacting to this story but it is as big a story as has faced the NFL. We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage. A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated because of time or tone."
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