Trent Reznor doesn't want his MTV.
The Nine Inch Nails ringleader unexpectedly canceled a long-planned performance at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards ceremony next week, due to a disagreement with the network over the use of a President Bush backdrop.
"Nine Inch Nails will not be performing at the MTV Movie Awards as previously announced," the 40-year-old rocker says in a statement on NIN.com. "We were set to perform 'The Hand That Feeds' with an unmolested, straightforward image of George W. Bush as the backdrop. Apparently, the image of our President is as offensive to MTV as it is to me. See you on tour this fall when we return to play in America."
In its own statement, the Viacom-owned MTV responded to the abrupt move.
"While we respect Nine Inch Nails' point of view, we were uncomfortable with their performance being built around a partisan political statement," the net says.
"When we discussed our discomfort with the band, their choice was to unfortunately pull out of the Movie Awards."
MTV says the Foo Fighters would sub for NIN at the show, which tapes in Los Angeles June 4 for broadcast June 9.
(Ironically, Foo frontman Dave Grohl is a friend of Reznor's who played drums on several tracks on NIN's recently released With Teeth and actively supported Senator John Kerry's failed presidential bid.)
MTV and Viacom suits may have been spooked by the potential firestorm unleashed by Reznor singing such lyrics as "There's a price to be paid for the blood on which we dine/Justified in the name of the holy and the divine" in front of a super-sized President Bush.
Aside from his political hard line, Reznor made headlines recently by testifying in his lawsuit against his ex-manager. Reznor sued John Malm for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, alleging he was duped out of millions.
A New York jury agreed with Reznor's side of the story Friday, giving the "Hurt" singer every single claim in his suit.
Reznor will receive $2.9 million in damages, plus interest that could double the amount. He also regains full control of all Nine Inch Nails trademarks. Unless Malm successfully appeals, he could face bankruptcy.
Reznor's court win comes after spending the better part of his 40th birthday May 17 defending his assertion that Malm ripped off the rocker while Reznor was partying and not paying attention to the state of Nine Inch Nails' finances. Reznor claimed that as recently as 2003, he had less than $3.5 million in total assets and just $400,000 in cash despite selling more than 20 million records worldwide.
Malm, meanwhile, failed to win his counterclaim, which contended Reznor actually owed him $2 million in commissions.
With Teeth, Reznor's first post-Malm studio release, and first new music in six years, debuted atop Billboard's Hot 200 earlier this month and is number 12 this week. "The Hand That Feeds," the first single off Teeth, is the number one song on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart for the second week in a row.