MIA has responded to the NFL suing her for flipping her middle finger during Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl half-time performance, accusing the American football governing body of making a “scapegoat” of her.
As reported last week, the NFL are suing the ‘Bad Girls’ star for $1.5 million (£900,000) in a legal dispute that has been underway the past 18 months, following her 2012 half-time performance at the Super Bowl XLVI. At the half-time show, during which the singer performed alongside Madonna and Nicki Minaj, MIA was seen to give the camera the middle finger midway through ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’ while mouthing “I don’t give a shit”.
When news of the legal action was first revealed, MIA’s lawyer Howard King stated that the singer would soon to go public about the ongoing battle. That moment arrived last night (September 23) when she uploaded a video of herself talking on the phone to an unnamed person about the incident. In the video, MIA is seen wearing an Oakland Raiders top and accusing the NFL of a “massive display of corporation dick-shaking”, arguing that there were far more offensive images on show during the performance than that of her middle finger.
In the video, which you can see above, MIA is heard saying: “So the precise moment in question, and you can actually freeze-frame this as many media outlets have. The frame you’re looking for has my middle finger in the foreground, and the larger picture where it zooms out is a row of 10-15 cheerleaders, young black females, that Madonna got from a local high school in Indianapolis, and they were all under 16. If you look at them, they’re all wearing cheerleader outfits, hips thrusted in the air, legs wide open, in this very sexually provocative position. So, now, they’ve scapegoated me into figuring out the goalposts of what is offensive in America. Is my finger offensive, or is the underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience?”
She then continues: “That’s basically what it comes down to: a massive waste of time, a massive waste of money, it’s a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking, they want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist. Basically, so they can say it’s OK for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock. That’s what it boils down to, and I’m being sued for it.”
The NFL claim that “this dispute concerns a blatant, intentional and calculated attempt by MIA, a musical artist, to garner worldwide publicity and attention for herself by making an offensive gesture to the cameras during the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show performance.”
MIA also recently made her UK live return at Bestival this month, playing a hit-heavy set to open the festival on Thursday night. As well as bringing out the more established likes of ‘Paper Planes’, ‘Bucky Done Gun’ and ‘Bad Girls’, the singer also debuted tracks from he long-awaited forthcoming record ‘Matangi’ – which will finally be released on November 5 after numerous delays.