Ohio University's Marching 110 backed down from performing Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" due to pressure from the administration and criticism over playing what some argue is a song that promotes rape culture.
The marching band's director, Richard Suk, made the decision to pull the plug on the hit song after four days of practicing it, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Other college marching bands at schools like Southern University, Jackson State University and the University of Indiana have performed "Blurred Lines" mostly without incident. But British universities have voted to ban the song in campus bars.
Alana Newberry, a Marching 110 alumna and a rape victim, told the Athens Messenger she disagreed with the decision to cut the song.
"I'm an adult and I'll do what I need to do to feel comfortable and safe," Newberry said. "If I knew they were going to play a song that I had a problem with I simply wouldn't show up."
The Marching 110 is known for covering pop songs, including "The Fox," "Gangnam Style" and "Party Rock Anthem" in the past couple of years. According to the Dispatch, the band also performed somewhat controversial songs, like Snoop Dogg’s "Gin and Juice" which discusses sex and drug use.
OU spokeswoman Katie Quaranta insisted this was not an issue of censorship, rather that this was a special case.
"Dr. Suk was unaware of these issues and of the broader national conversation that the song was provoking," Quaranta said in a statement to local media. "He shared that if he was being asked to not play the song, then he would remove it from the playlist. A consensus was reached to not perform 'Blurred Lines.' We expect that this is an isolated incident and there is no interest or push on the institution’s part in censoring art at Ohio University."