Pop rapper M.I.A. is not going to swallow a major loss at the hands of an NFL lawsuit for throwing her middle finger up at Super Bowl XLVI and has decided to defend herself.
In a new video, M.I.A. has stood up for herself and questioned the NFL’s real gripe with her showing the controversial hand gesture during the live halftime show in February 2012.
The “Born Free” musician argued that if people zoom out from the photo of her and her middle finger, they’ll find at least 10 to 15 African-American cheerleaders under the age of 16 that the Material Girl recruited from a local Indianapolis high school who struck very sexually provocative poses. “So now [the NFL is] scapegoating me into figuring out the goal posts on what is offensive in America,” said the 38-year-old hitmaker. “Like, is my finger offensive or is an underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience?” (E! Online)
The overseas rapper also pointed out the true intention of the NFL’s lawsuit.
M.I.A. (real name Mathangi Arulpragasam) added that the league’s legal action is a massive waste of time and money, and her attorney has already solicited fans to send in any examples of bad behavior by NFL personnel not in line with its purportedly family-friendly image. “They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrists. And basically say it’s okay for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock,” she declared. “That is what it boils down to, and I’m being sued for it.” (E! Online)
Buzz behind the NFL’s $1.5 million demand bubbled online late last week.
News broke last week that the NFL had been quietly waging a serious legal war against MIA, the singer who flipped off the camera during Madonna’s Super Bowl performance during the 2012 halftime show. Since then, MIA has asked fans to submit evidence of NFL wrongdoing (including, but not limited to, bounties on hits, athlete injuries and post-career health issues). On Monday, the singer took things a step further by releasing a video of herself comparing what she deems the “sexual exploitation” of Madonna’s backup dancers, who she says were young girls under the age of 16 and performed suggestive dances at the same moment she flipped her finger. The league wants $1.5 million from MIA. (Huffington Post)
Last year, Nicki Minaj stood up for the show’s headliner, pop icon Madonna, and admitted confusion over M.I.A.’s action.
“My first feeling was disappointment, only because of my respect for Madonna. I’m a cuckoo lady too, but I would never be able to do it off the strength of Madonna. There are fines that go into these things, and I just thought, ‘Oh my God. I hope they don’t penalize Madonna.’ Madonna knows the artist that M.I.A. is and it was her decision to take the risk with all of us. We were kinda all firecrackers and she took that risk. She’s done some crazy things becoming the icon that she is, so I think that’s why she was able to forgive M.I.A. I love M.I.A. and I don’t want to say anything that is the wrong thing, but me personally, I couldn’t see myself doing it, just for the respect for Madonna. I wouldn’t want any backlash to come back on Madonna.” (Ryan Seacrest)
Madonna had also spoke on what went down and described how upset the stunt made her.
Madonna called in to “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” to discuss her Super Bowl performance including the controversy around M.I.A.’s digit malfunction, and whether or not we can expect Britney Spears on her upcoming single “Girls Gone Wild.” Since stepping off the Super Bowl stage controversy has swirled due to Madonna’s guest performer. M.I.A. raising a middle finger during the performance. Madonna confesses: “I was really surprised. I didn’t know anything about it. I wasn’t happy about it. I understand it’s punk rock and everything, but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy, and positivity it seemed negative. It’s such a teenager…irrelevant thing to do…there was such a feeling of love and unity there what was the point? It was just out of place.” (Ryan Seacrest)
Check out M.I.A.’s video response: