It all boiled down to a difference of opinion on set decoration, but NIN's Trent Reznor decided to back out instead of back down.
The band was slated to perform "The Hand That Feeds," the first single from the latest Nine Inch Nails album, With Teeth, at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, next month. But when MTV had issues with NIN using an image of President George W. Bush in the set decoration, Reznor decided to cancel their appearance, rather than find a compromise.
He then posted the following comment on the band's website, www.nin.com:
"Nine Inch Nails will not be performing at the MTV Movie Awards as previously announced. 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."
The album debuted at number one when it was released earlier this month, selling over 270,000 copies its first week. The single has also earned rave reviews, even being called "a warning against blind acceptance of authority, including that of a president leading his nation to war..." by the Los Angeles Times.
No comment has been made by MTV regarding the situation or a replacement for the show.