Performer M.I.A. — Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam — deftly disguised herself as a singer and infiltrated the heavy Super Bowl security of NBC, and the TSA, and the DHS. Her mission? To flip a middle finger to the camera all while singing a four-letter word that is part of “Luvin”‘s original lyrics.
Might as well get the wWAAAAH-mbulance on standby for the outraged parents groups that will surely come out of the woodwork over something their kids probably didn’t even notice. I know I certainly didn’t catch it during the live broadcast. It got past, after which an attempted digital blurring came oh so late. NBC censors either fell asleep at the wheel, or someone thought it was good entertainment (it is, now).
The real question is if stage-mate Madonna will ultimately come forward to stick up for them or let them twist in the wind should an FCC fine be levied. In 2004, Janet Jackson’s wardrobe fiasco ultimately led to a whopping $550,000 headache payable to the finger-wagging nanny state.
UPDATE: The New Yorker is erroneously reporting that M.I.A. has apologized, based on an LA Times story that cites a “source, who requested anonymity but was with the artist at Lucas Oil Stadium.” Her publicists at Interscope have issued a “no comment.” We are following this story intently, mostly because we know at the end of the day an entourage lackey speaking out of turn doesn’t mean squat.
As I predicted before, Parents Television Council has become the first outraged parent group to rush to the scene with stern words. I humbly suggest they spend their time and energy providing a useful product for parental television control, not blowing hot air over a bunch of known provocative artists.