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Super Bowl 2012... Madonna was the half-time performer with guests Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. During the performance, M.I.A. flipped off the camera. It was a quick, fleeting gesture. But, the NFL was pissed, and so they sued M.I.A. They want her to pay $1.5 million and make a public apology. M.I.A. responded with a verbal lashing that could be summed up with the same hand gesture that caused the whole thing in the first place.
First, here's what the NFL has to say:
In its legal filings, the NFL said M.I.A.'s "offensive" middle-finger happened "in flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl." According to the NFL, M.I.A. breached a pre-show agreement to maintain the NFL's "reputation for wholesomeness"; the league argues she broke the contract as a publicity stunt.
And here's what M.I.A. has to say:
The NFL thing is completely ridiculous. It’s been making me laugh for a while, but now it’s so boring I don’t even laugh anymore. So the precise moment in question, and you can actually freeze-frame this as many media outlets have. The frame you’re looking for has my middle finger in the foreground, and the larger picture where it zooms out is a row of 10-15 cheerleaders, young black females, that Madonna got from a local high school in Indianapolis, and they were all under 16. If you look at them, they’re all wearing cheerleader outfits, hips thrusted in the air, legs wide open, in this very sexually provocative position.
So, now, they’re scapegoating me into figuring out the goalposts on what is offensive in America. Like, is my finger offensive, or is the underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience? That’s basically what it comes down to. It's a massive waste of time, a massive waste of money, it’s a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking. They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist. Basically, so they can say it’s OK for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock. That is what it boils down to, and I’m being sued for it.
As for me... TEAM M.I.A. FOREVER. Seriously.
What I Do, Job-wise: So. Much. Other than playing on-air every day (and on DO YOU HATE IT? Sunday nights), you might get an e-mail response from me if you write in asking to know the name of a song or whether we're looking for interns. I'm all over the place, like a ninja, but less stealthy.