News: M.I.A. Makes "F*ck You" Hand Sign At SB Halftime Show, NBC Spokesperson Apologizes

Sunday, Feb 5, 2012 11:40PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rapper M.I.A. stole the show during Super Bowl XLVI's halftime performance after getting caught on camera displaying a middle finger while taking stage alongside Madonna and Nicki Minaj.

Reports of M.I.A.'s eyebrow-raising gesture made headlines shortly after the performance.

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 has since addressed what went down.

"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 has already drawn 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)

M.I.A.'s middle finger seemingly gained more attention than Madonna's headlining performance.

Madge killed it in her halftime show, even earning love from the hard-to-please and often overly critical social media madding crowd. She looked amazing and belted out classics "Vogue" and "Like a Prayer" alongside her new song "Give Me All Your Luvin'" and 2000?s "Music." Okay, so she tripped on the bleachers (who wouldn't in those sky-high boots?), and maybe M.I.A. gave her the finger mid-song (did she or didn't she?) -- and there is a dispute over whether she was lip syncing (was she or wasn't she?). But Madonna certainly proved her prowess as a professional and a performer, with a clean, solid show featuring old favorites and a new song that has her classic, catchy persona written all over it. (Entertainment Weekly)

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