The rapper whose raised middle finger during the Super Bowl halftime show conjured up memories of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” eight years ago may have some legal repercussions from the gesture, Yahoo Sports reports.
M.I.A. flashed the salute in a support role as part of Madonna’s halftime performance, triggering apologies from the NFL and NBC, as previously reported. Now it appears the British-born rapper could be in breach of her contract with the NFL.
The Yahoo story reports: “NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Yahoo! Sports this week that the league books all its own talent for the show, and has contractual stipulations with each performer regarding their behavior. ‘We do have [safeguards regarding artist conduct] written into their contracts,’ Aiello said.”
Aiello declined to say whether M.I.A. faces a possible financial penalty for her action.
The story adds: “The NFL was unhappy that the requisite delay system, designed to allow broadcaster NBC to ensure that any offensive material be kept out of the live telecast, failed to operate properly. NBC did scramble its signal, but it came moments after M.I.A.’s remark and gesture.”
The story quotes Aiello saying: “There has been a delay system in place since the incident with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. The system did not work and that is something we will review. We produce the show, the network televises it, and the system is supposed to work to make sure nothing is shown of this kind. It clearly wasn’t part of the plan.”
Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction in 2004 resulted in a $550,000 FCC fine against CBS, which was later overturned in a court ruling that said the agency “acted arbitrarily” in its enforcement of indecency regulations, the story notes.
It remains unclear whether the FCC is contemplating a penalty in the M.I.A. incident.
Madonna is said to be furious with M.I.A. over the incident, the story notes.