NFL, NBC Apologize for M.I.A.'s Middle Finger at Super Bowl Half-Time Show

Celebrity News Feb. 6, 2012 AT 8:48AM
NFL, NBC Apologize for M.I.A.'s Middle Finger at Super Bowl Half-Time Show Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty

M.I.A. almost stole the show from Madonna at the jaw-dropping half-time show at Sunday's Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

The 36-year-old rapper (real name: Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam) flipped her middle finger as she performed backup for Madonna, 53, alongside Nicki Minaj for the Material Girl's new song "Give Me All You Luvin'."

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 The British/Sri Lankan star also uttered a profanity ("I don't give a s***") but the expletive wasn't heard on the live broadcast.

The NFL and NBC alike  immediately apologized for the gaffe, which harkened back to Janet Jackson's infamous nip-slip at the Super Bowl alongside Justin Timberlake 8 years ago.

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"The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans," an NFL spokesman said.

Added NBC: "We apologize for the inappropriate gesture that aired during halftime. It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late."  A $500,000 fine was levied by the Federal Communications Commission against CBS following the infamous Janet Jackson moment.

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M.I.A. apparently did not flip the bird or curse during rehearsals for the show -- which otherwise went off spectacularly as Madonna thrilled the stadium with performances of "Vogue," "Music," "Give Me All Your Luvin', an "Open Your Heart" interlude and "Like a Prayer," with LMFAO and Cee Lo Green also making cameos.
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