News: M.I.A. Faces Serious Heat, Big Fines Following "F*ck You" SB Halftime Hand Gesture

Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012 10:06AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rapper M.I.A. may have to dig deep into her pockets to settle a hefty fine for her unexpected actions last Sunday when she flipped off television cameras during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime performance.

According to reports, M.I.A. could be public enemy number one if fines are handed out for her gesture.

M.I.A. will end up paying any fines imposed on NBC as a result of her finger wag during the Super Bowl halftime show ... sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ. Our sources say ... the NFL has indemnified NBC ... because the NFL is responsible for the halftime content. But the NFL was smart, given the history of performers who wanted to do something shocking to get attention during the biggest TV event of the year. So we're told ... M.I.A. signed a contract with the NFL for the halftime performance, and in that contract M.I.A. agreed to indemnify the NFL for any money it might be forced to pay if the FCC comes down on the Peacock Network. Remember, CBS was hit with a $550,000 FCC fine after Janet Jackson's famous wardrobe malfunction, but that fine was thrown out by a federal appeals court. Sources tell us ... aside from the fact that the NFL doesn't want to pay a huge fine, the organization wants to send a message to performers -- don't you dare screw with us. (TMZ)

Reports centered on M.I.A.'s halftime-stealing action took over the Internet Sunday night.

Madonna earned praise early on for her half-time performance at the Super Bowl on Sunday night, but it was her guest star M.I.A. who may have stolen the headlines from her by making an obscene gesture during the show. M.I.A, the stage name of the hip-hop performer Maya Arulpragasam, appeared with the rapper Nicki Minaj to sing "Give Me All Your Luvin'," a new Madonna song that was performed during a medley of the Material Girl's hits. At the end of her verse, M.I.A. stopped just short of singing a vulgar lyric and extended her middle finger to the camera. The television broadcast appeared to go blurry just after this, but not in time to obscure the gesture. (New York Times)

NBC spokesperson Christopher McCloskey quickly addressed what went down following her gesture.

"We apologize for the inappropriate gesture that aired during halftime. It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late." (Associated Press)

The gesture drew comparisons to a past Super Bowl halftime mishap.

Janet Jackson's 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" in which her breast, with a nipple guard, became exposed during her halftime show with Justin Timberlake has been a difficult-to-top moment in TV history. Jackson's indiscretion resulted in a $550,000 fine levied by the FCC against CBS for airing the uncensored, highly controversial moment. (New York Daily News)

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