Super Bowl 2012: MIA could face fine for middle-finger salute
Rapper may be penalized after flipping the bird in front of 110 million Super Bowl viewers at Madonna half-time show
www.guardian.co.uk – MIA could be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars following her notorious middle-finger salute at Sunday’s Super Bowl. Under the terms of the singer’s contract, she may be held responsible for any fine levied by the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Less than 24 hours after MIA flipped the bird during the most-watched programme in US television history, officials are distancing themselves from the London-born musician. TV network NBC blamed the National Football League: “The NFL hired the talent and produced the half-time show,” they said. Naturally, the NFL blamed NBC: “There was a failure in NBC’s delay system. The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologise.” But both seem to be holding their breath for a response from the FCC, which monitors US broadcast standards. The FCC pursued TV network CBS for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl. Although the FCC’s claim was eventually thrown out, CBS was nearly forced to pay a $550,000 (£348,000) fine.
If a similar fine is levied in 2012, it will reportedly be MIA, not NBC, who is responsible to pay it, according to documents obtained by TMZ. The 36-year-old was apparently liable for her own behaviour. And the rapper has been unusually quiet since her half-time appearance, absent from Twitter. A source close to the rapper told ABC News Radio that MIA was “caught up in the moment” on Sunday night, and hadn’t meant “to make any kind of statement”.