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NIN Withdraws From MTV Movie Awards Performance

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Nine Inch Nails will not be performing at the MTV Movie Awards being taped on June 4 and aired June 9 (incidentally, why do they have bands playing at a movie awards show anyway?), because the network was, in their words, “uncomfortable with their performance being built around a partisan political statement”: that statement being a a performance backdrop with a picture of President Bush emblazoned upon it.

On the NIN site, leader Trent Reznor wrote, “We were set to perform ‘The Hand That Feeds’ with an unmolested straightforward picture of George W. Bush as the backdrop. Apparently the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me.”

That’s one way to look at it. “The Hand That Feeds” (Quicktime video here) feaures anti-war lyrics:

“What if this whole crusade’s a charade
And behind it all there’s a price to be paid

For the blood on which we dine
Justified in the name of the holy and the divine.”

Pretty great tune, pretty trite lyrics: of course there’s a price to be paid and that price is in the news almost everyday, and was on most of our minds yesterday, Memorial Day. But anyway, political sophistication from rock stars is so rare as to be a trace element.

NIN insisted on doing their thing their way — a somewhat more subtle image might have been more effective — and MTV clearly just didn’t want the hassle of so blatant a political message, so Foo Fighters will take NIN’s place in the show.

It’s a weird time for Reznor: on the one hand he’s in the middle of a lawsuit with his former manager and best friend, but on the other hand NIN’s recent album With Teeth, from which “The Hand That Feeds” is taken, debuted at #1.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • Nine Inch Nails will not be performing at the MTV Movie Awards being taped on June 4 and aired June 9 (incidentally, why do they have bands playing at a movie awards show anyway?)

    I think the bigger question negates an answer – why does Music Television air a movie-awards show in the first place?!

  • Haha… nice comment, we all wonder why a music television channel barely plays any music videos!!! As for NIN, I’d just like to say that Reznor is a pretty fair man. He came to UC Davis to play and almost dropped out because he didn’t want the concert leaked before students got a chance to buy tickets so that scalpers wouldn’t buy them all and sell them at upsurd prices. As funny as it is to have a picture of Bush in the background, it’s not subtle enough.

  • Japhet Bower

    Woo, boy… his comment obviously flew right over your head.

  • I blogged aobut this yesterday at my locale. My tsake was – MTV has got pretty yellow lately.

    But then I remembered other videos they censored. P!@#$%ies


  • Eric Olsen

    I get it, nice one

  • Why is NIN scheduling appearances on MTV anyway? I thought NIN was against this corporate owned media crap that MtV’s parent company, Viacom, advocates.

    In addition, the target audience for MTV is somewhere between dimwit and moron. Is Trent that desperate for new fans?

  • i’ve discovered, through the lucious miracle of dish!network, about IMF — they play music videos and not just american ones! like from literally everywhere in the world. granted they call themselves the international music feed and they play american music 80% of the time, but that’s better than mtv which doesnt even play music videos until people are snoozing away.

  • All I can say to this is, THANK GOD, because that would have sucked – though rumor has it he intended to use the picture with GWB flipping the camera the bird, which would have been pretty punk rock if true, and might have made up for the way the whole idea is pretty much about as subtle as… well, something that isn’t in the slightest bit subtle.

    Also, MTV is obviously retarded, and as much as I love to see Trent Reznor do anything, I prefer to see him doing it when he is not buried up to his neck in bullshit.

  • The awards show has had some memorable moments – and many that were just trying to be too precious.

    But Trent would rarely rise to the level of mediocre. 100 percent anger – especially self-pitying anger is old and is always old.

    but that’s just my opinion and …

  • The old 100% self-pitying anger rap for good old Trent is undeserved, Temple.

    If anything, this whole MTV flap is nothing but funny. HE’s better off not appearing on that show – the exposure he gets from refusing it is 1000 times more bang for the buck than a by the numbers run thru on his latest single after being introduced by the guy who played mini me and Cameron Diaz, or some such shit.

  • I just meant his music. MTV is already useless.