NBC has apologized for airing footage of M.I.A. flipping off the cameras while delivering the line “I don’t give a shit” during Madonna‘s Super Bowl halftime show. “The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show,” NBC said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.”
The NFL have also issued an apology for the incident, but placed the blame on NBC’s censors. “There was a failure in NBC’s delay system,” spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement. “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans.” According to McCarthy, M.I.A. did not use the gesture in dress rehearsals for the show.
M.I.A., a well-known provocateur, has not yet commented on her performance or its aftermath. The rapper did not fully enunciate the word “shit” at the end of the verse, which keeps her – and the NBC and NFL – in the clear in terms of avoiding a fine from the FCC for inappropriate language.
You can watch a brief clip of M.I.A.’s middle finger moment below.