Published November 26, 2012
The NFL "banned" a segment last week that featured actor Bradley Cooper that was slated to air on the league's network, according to the N.Y. POST. Cooper "was to headline" last Friday's “Rich Eisen Thanksgiving Special," promoting Cooper's new movie "Silver Linings Playbook." But after the segment was "approved, and taped, the net was abruptly told on Wednesday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office to scrap it." NFL Network cancelled the segment because Robert De Niro’s character in the film "is a part-time bookie." The decision "left host Eisen and his team scrambling ... to re-edit the show." An NFL Media spokesperson said, “The segment was pulled because the movie included content related to gambling on NFL games.” Harvey Weinstein, the film's exec producer, said, “We are deeply disappointed in the NFL’s decision, and we are quite frankly surprised. Pulling a pretaped interview with our stars is nothing short of censorship ... (‘Silver Linings’) is not a film about gambling in the NFL. It’s a film about fathers and sons and football bonding a family together” (N.Y. POST, 11/23
). SI.com's Peter King writes the NFL "overreacted, and that's putting it mildly," by pulling the Cooper interview. None of Eisen's questions, and none of Cooper's answers, "concerned gambling on NFL games," and the interview "would have gotten zero attention in this column and scant attention elsewhere had it aired" (SI.com, 11/26
). The N.Y. Post's Bart Hubbuch
wrote on his Twitter feed, "Silly stance by the league."