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M.I.A’s Super Bowl 2012 Finger Incident Addressed by NBC and NFL

Christopher Polk, Getty Images

NBC and the NFL have issued separate, curt apologies over the fact that pop star M.I.A. gave the finger to the camera during her solo rap part, which was part of Madonna’s Super Bowl 2012 halftime performance.

M.I.A., who is rather anti-mainstream and rebellious, flipped off the camera and it was caught on tape and on camera. It was the only drama/hiccup/controversy during Madonna’s tame, but entertaining set.

M.I.A. gave the one-finger salute while performing ‘Give Me All Your Luvin” with Madonna. It was arguably the biggest audience that the rapper has ever performed before, so she took the opportunity to do something memorable and that got people talking.

NBC quickly issued a statement addressing the obscene gesture. “The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show,” NBC said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.”

The NFL also addressed M.I.A.’s action, blaming the delay and NBC. “There was a failure in NBC’s delay system. The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans.”

M.I.A. is known for being brash and goes against the grain of what’s popular, so we’re not shocked that she decided to do something that many consider rude. It has generated a whole bunch of interest in her and with a new album due out this year, she certainly turned up the heat on her own familiarity in the public. We can’t help but wonder if she got a stern talking to courtesy of Madonna, since she stole the spotlight on Madge’s set.

It also begs the question: Will the NFL make an effort to offer an even more controlled and sanitized halftime show by hiring older talent that play instruments and won’t be apt to do something like give the finger to the camera?

Watch M.I.A Give the Bird During the Super Bowl 2012 Halftime Performance

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