Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show has been received with great reviews, except for one small detail: guest M.I.A. slipped the middle finger and rapped an uncensored verse during the performance. Now, NBC has issued an apology for the mishap.
While performing Madge’s new single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” alongside Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. flashed the finger as well as a not-safe-for-primtime-TV lyric, neither which NBC’s censors were fast enough to catch and blot out. Thus, following the game, the network issued an apology.
“We apologize for the inappropriate gesture that aired during halftime,” a spokesperson said. “It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late.”
“There was a failure in NBC’s delay system,” the NFL, which hires the performers and produces the halftime show, said in a statement. “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans.”
According to Deadline Hollywood, M.I.A. kept things clean during rehearsals, but clearly let the excitement get the best of her during the live show.
M.I.A.’s lewd behavior was reminiscent of another Half Time show controversy back in 2004, when Janet Jackson famously flashed a nipple while performing with Justin Timberlake. —Gina Montana