David Woods
February 06, 2012

M.I.A. Middle Finger Controversy (WATCH!)

Madonna pulled out all the stops in a memorable Super Bowl halftime performance last night, but it was a guest star who stole the show. Rapper and singer M.I.A. gave the middle finger to the camera (and, by proxy, the entire viewing audience) during her verse in “Give Me All Your Luvin” (Madonna’s new single).

It’s unlikely any part of a Super Bowl halftime show will ever match the controversy that was generated when Janet Jackson experienced a “wardrobe malfunction” and displayed her bare breast to the nation in the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004, but M.I.A.’s middle finger is the closest anything has come yet. This time, it was a flip and not a slip that is causing all the uproar.

Take a look and judge for yourself:

NBC broadcast the Super Bowl last night and the network was doing some damage control after the game.

“The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show,” NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said. “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.”

Translation: NBC didn’t expect M.I.A. to do that and we were unprepared to have to censor something like that.

Despite the negative reaction by some, the move may turn out to be a positive for M.I.A.’s career. She is the talk to the Internet this morning, not Madonna (who turned in a surprisingly strong performance).