|Turns out, Madonna wasn't that impressed with M.I.A. and her middle finger. (US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
You may have heard something about Madonna being the halftime entertainment at Super Bowl XLVI. For the most part, the show went off without a hitch. There were plenty of pyrotechnics and dancers and, well, all the things we've come to expect from one of television's biggest spectacles. There was even a special guest -- M.I.A.
And while it wasn't a Janet Jackson-level code red, M.I.A. did cause collective panties to bunch when, during her performance with Madonna on the song "Give Me All Your Luvin,'" she extended her middle finger and later uttered an expletive. NBC and the NFL scrambled to issue apologies.
On Friday, Madonna called into "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" and spoke publicly for the first time about the hubbub.
“I was really surprised,” she said according to ABCnews.com. “I didn’t know anything about it. I wasn’t happy about it. I understand it’s punk rock and everything, but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy, and positivity it seemed negative. It’s such a teenager … irrelevant thing to do … there was such a feeling of love and unity there, what was the point? It was just out of place.”
This is the older, wiser Madonna talking. At 53, she sounds a lot different than the woman Rolling Stone's Caryn Ganz described as "[T]he most consistently controversial one since Elvis Presley … until she toned down her press-baiting behavior in the Nineties."
No word on if the FCC will fine NBC for M.I.A.'s one-finger salute. Following Breastgate '04, the FCC fined CBS $550,000. The federal agency subsequently increased the fine for such incidents to $325,000 a pop, which means that M.I.A.'s actions could cost NBC as much as $650,000.
Word on the street is that there was no underlying motive behind M.I.A.'s artistic choices other than “adrenaline and nerves,” and she got “caught up in the moment.”
For what it's worth, we were in the auxiliary press boxes for Super Bowl XLVI and neither saw nor heard M.I.A. violating the FCC's indecency laws. Franky, we didn't even know she was there. (see below for visual proof -- click photos to enlarge).
|The view of the halftime show from the auxillary press box. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)||Even zoomed in it was hard to make out naughty hand gestures. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)|
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed