M.I.A. Flips the Bird During Super-Bowl Halftime Show, Apologies Quickly Fly

NBC and the NFL have both apologized for not quickly blurring the musician's gesture during Madonna's performance.

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KEVIN MAZUR / GETTY IMAGES

Madonna, joined by Nicki Minaj (left) and M.I.A. (right) during the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show.

Madonna guaranteed there would be no wardrobe malfunctions during her Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show performance Sunday, and she delivered on her promise. All three of her Givenchy Haute Couture designs remained safely in place through cartwheels, aggressive shimmying and a near fall. The perpetrator of this year’s halftime show controversy? M.I.A. whose real name is Maya Arulpragasam.

Joining Madonna and Nicki Minaj on stage for a performance of Madonna’s new single “Give Me All Your Lovin’,” the London-born musician flipped the bird Sunday before censors could blur the image for the millions watching at home.

CHRISTOPHER POLK / GETTY IMAGES

Both the NFL, who produced the event, and NBC, who aired it, swiftly issued apologies, the Washington Post reports.

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“We apologize for the inappropriate gesture that aired during halftime,” NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said in a statement. “It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late.”

“The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

Obscene gesture notwithstanding, the rest of Madonna’s 12-minute set went off without a hitch. Opening with “Vogue,” Roman gladiators carried the 53-year-old superstar to the field of the Lucas Oil Stadium, and guests like LMAFO and Cee-Lo Green joined Madonna in performing a mash-up of classics like “Like a Prayer” and “Music.” Madonna is the first female headliner of the halftime show since Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004.

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Football fans found something even more offensive at Sunday’s Super Bowl — the performance of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots lost to the New York Giants 21-17.

Watch the controversial moment below:

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