CBS Deems Rihanna Unfit to ‘Run This Town’

The Ray Rice domestic violence scandal worked its way into the music scene. CBSannounced last week that they would permanently pull Rihanna and Jay-Z’s “Run This Town” from their Thursday night pre-game coverage.

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Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was indefinitely suspended from the NFL after a video of Rice knocking out his then-fiancé/now-wife Janay Rice surfaced. Though Rice was initially suspended for two games under the direction of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Goodell later extended his punishment to the vague “indefinite” suspension from the organization.

Rihanna’s own battle with domestic violence can be traced to 2009 when she was assaulted by then-boyfriend Chris Brown, who was sentenced to five years probation. The two had a very public split, but have since recorded together, been seen together, and may have been romantically involved.

“It’s important to realize we are not overreacting to this story but it is as big a story as has faced the NFL,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told “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.”

As “Bad Girl RiRi” usually does, Rihanna took to Twitter to voice her take on CBS pulling her song.

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While Rihanna is a well-known victim of domestic violence, there is a debate on whether she is the best face of anti-domestic violence, given her on-again-off-again relationship with her “first love”.

Some support CBS’s decision to pull the song…

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… others are #TeamRiRi.

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However, there have since been reports of Rihanna’s label, Roc Nation, pulling her song from the TNT intro. It is unknown at this time who made the ultimate decision.

Do you think CBS pulling Rihanna’s song from their Thursday night coverage opposes domestic violence or opposes domestic violence victims?

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3 Responses to CBS Deems Rihanna Unfit to ‘Run This Town’

  1. Lindsey De la Torre says:


    Domestic abuse is definitely in the spotlight more than it usually is, which is extremely beneficial to the cause, but most companies have to tread carefully when it comes to the subject. I think that CBS is doing the right thing by trying to stay out of the controversy. In this situation, CBS would have been criticized whether they pulled the song or not. Rihanna’s domestic abuse is already a controversial subject on its own without being affiliated with the recent NFL events. CBS made it clear in their statement why they pulled the song and that they thought it did not work with their tone at this time. Personally, I think they did the right thing for their company.

    Great post!

  2. Meenah Rincon says:

    I think pulling Rihanna’s song after the mishandling of the Ray Rice situation is ridiculous. They didn’t handle it appropriately by almost condoning the actions of Rice with a slap on the wrist, yet they ban Rihanna’s song for being a domestic violence victim who may or may not be friends with her abuser? Rice’s fiancee still married him after the altercation. I’m not sure what type of message the NFL is trying to send, but I think the NFL needs to get on the same page as their PR team ASAP.

  3. Jessica Zook says:

    I think it’s hard to say whether CBS’s decision opposes domestic violence or the victims. I don’t think that pulling her song from their coverage is directly hurting domestic violence victims in any way. The song would have just helped raise awareness about the issue. I think the issue is more about the statement CBS made when they pulled the song. Part of their decision I understand, because Rihanna might not be the best role model for successfully overcoming domestic violence abuse. However, on the other hand, she’s human, she’s not perfect and so it’s hard to completely justify pulling the song.

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