Although Madonna was supposed to be the center of attention during last night's Super Bowl halftime show, the Queen of Pop was mildly upstaged by M.I.A.'s rather obscene finger malfunction. The rapper (real name: Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam) went rogue during the "Give Me All Your Luvin'" portion of the performance by flipping off the camera mid-way through the song. This, of course, has caused quite a bit of controversy given that actions like that are usually frowned upon on such a "family friendly" network.
As expected, both the NFL and NBC immediately apologized for the faux pas. A spokesperson for the NFL, Brian McCarthy, released a statement to the Associated Press, saying, "The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans." McCarthy went on to say that the NFL was blindsided by the gesture and that M.I.A. had not indicated during rehearsals that she would be doing anything like that during the actual performance. Additionally, NBC spokesman, Christopher McCloskey, also released a statement concerning the matter, explaining, "Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers." As of this morning, neither organization has been fined.
To be honest, I watched the halftime show and didn't even see that it happened, so hopefully this won't get blown too much out of proportion and overshadow what really was an impressive halftime show. Yes, M.I.A. was wrong doing what she did, but the gesture was barely noticeable. If no one was reporting on it, would you even be aware that it had happened? I know I wouldn't, so it's not as awful as it could have been (although I personally fail to see the reasoning behind the middle finger to begin with). Either way, let's just hope M.I.A learns her lesson from this and keeps her inappropriate sign language to a minimum the next time she performs in such a public venue. Think of the kids!
Click on the picture above for more photos of M.I.A.