CBS has permanently dropped its use of the song “Run This Town” on Thursday Night Football, after Rihanna tweeted “Fuck you!” to CBS. The network dropped the Jay-Z and Rihanna tune last week, citing “tone.” Specifically, that tone was its association with domestic abuse, of which Rihanna is a survivor, and that the NFL has been dealing with in the wake of the Ray Rice incident.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus tells Sports Illustrated that the NFL made several pre-game adjustments in the wake of Rice’s expulsion, including replacing “Run This Town” with some men talking about domestic abuse. “We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage,” McManus said. “A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated because of time or tone.”
Apparently, one week was more than enough time for everyone to move on, because it planned to bring back the “Run This Town” segment. But Rihanna tweeted she was having none of that:
After which, The New York Times’ Bill Carter reported that CBS has removed the song from its show for the rest of the season.
In a follow-up statement, CBS said it is “moving in a different direction with some elements” of its broadcast, including ”using our newly created ‘Thursday Night Football’ theme music to open our game broadcast.”