Video After The Jump
It looks like Janet Jackson's "n*pplegate" is happening all over again.
When M.I.A. threw up a middle finger during her performance with Madonna at halftime of Super Bowl 46, she managed to steal Madge's shine and stir up lots of trouble.
Both the NFL and NBC issued apologies for not blurring the middle finger.
“The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show,” NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said. “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.”
The NFL also blamed NBC's delay system for not catching the obscene gesture in time.
“The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said. He also added that M.I.A. didn't display the middle finger during rehearsals, so they had no idea she would do it during the live event.
The Parents Television Council isn't buying the apologies from the NFL and NBC. They blame both organizations for hiring acts who have based their careers "on shock, profanity and titillation."
Tim Winter of the PTC released the following statement:
“NBC fumbled and the NFL lied because a performer known as M.I.A. felt it necessary to flip off millions of families. It is unfortunate that a spectacular sporting event was overshadowed once again by broadcasting the selfish acts of a desperate performer.
“Last week the NFL formally told the PTC – and the American public – that the Super Bowl halftime show would be ‘appropriate.’ Most families would agree that the middle finger aimed directly at them is not appropriate, especially during the most-watched television event of the year.
“The mechanism NBC had in place to catch this type of material completely failed, and the network cannot say it was caught off guard. It has been eight years since the Janet Jackson striptease, and both NBC and the NFL knew full well what might happen. They chose a lineup full of performers who have based their careers on shock, profanity and titillation. Instead of preventing indecent material, they enabled it. M.I.A. used a middle finger shamelessly to bring controversial attention to herself, while effectively telling an audience filled with children, ‘F– you.’
“A simple apology rings hollow after yet another slap in the face to families, especially when NBC has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that it should be allowed to air all manner of indecent material at any time of day, even when children are watching.
“Either the NFL and NBC will take immediate steps to hold those accountable for this offensive material in front of a hundred million Americans, or they will feebly sit back and do nothing. The nation – and the PTC – is watching.”
The Super Bowl was watched by an estimated 110 million viewers. It's a family event and the NFL has gone to great lengths to hire acts they consider to be safe ever since Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004.
M.I.A. throwing up the middle finger during Super Bowl performance