M.I.A. Will Have To Shell Out The Big Bucks To Cover Any FCC Fines That Might Arise From Her Bird M.I.A.‘s contract with NBC states that she’ll have to shell out to cover any fines that might be enforced by the FCC following her Super Bowl performance. While the world waits with baited breath to see if the most famous finger in the consumerist world will be reprimanded by the FCC, we’re guessing M.I.A is waiting just as anxiously to see what happens, especially since Janet Jackson‘s nip-slip cost CBS a cool $550,000. [Spin]
How much controversy can one empty gesture cause? If today’s Internet furor is anything to go by, a lot. In a blink-and-you’ll miss it moment (we didn’t even blink and we missed it the first time around!) during last night’s Super Bowl half time performance, rapper M.I.A. gave cameras the middle finger live on stage, as she suggestively sang “I don’t give a shhhh…” during Madonna‘s “Give Me All Your Luvin'”. In an vain attempt to erase the ‘obscene’ gesture, the broadcast blurred seconds later — but it was too late! We already saw it! That dreaded, awful… Middle finger! GASP!
Of the ‘incident’, Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL said, “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans,” while NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said, “The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.” We feel like we really missed something here — on the spectrum of one to controversial in the Madonna-sphere, a flipped bird seems pretty weak.
We were really expecting the show to yield some real controversy — Madonna stealing a kiss with Nicki perchance (not that we think there’s anything wrong with that, but we imagine it really would have caused a stir!), or something along the lines of a boundary-pushing, 80s Madonna. Instead what we got was a half-baked push of the button, and not even by Madonna herself. It’s unclear whether or not the action was staged; if it was orchestrated by Madonna, we think it’s a cop out on her part to have the non-white, UK artist make the move. However, if it was an impromptu movement on M.I.A’s part, it seems like a fairly desperate attempt to reclaim the title of “edgy” pop star after the truffle fries incident.
Either way, the flipped bird was school-yard level offensive at best — and it seems like detractors were expecting to have something to gripe about before they even saw the show, so are grasping at straws to find something perturbing about the performance. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and in this case, the complaint-mongers are milking that bird for all it’s worth.
Talk about the proverbial bird flip. Bon Iver font man Justin Vernon is giving a big one — two actually, one with each hand — to the Grammys. Yet again. Despite Bon Iver being nominated for four Grammys, throwing a medium sized hissy fit, Justin Vernon has refused to play at the illustrious awards show. He told Billboard that “We wanted to play our music, but were told that we couldn’t play. We had to do a collaboration with someone else, and we just felt like it was such a large stage — we’re getting nominated for this record that we made. Me and Brian [Joseph] and a bunch of our f***ing friends and we were given accolades for it, and all of a sudden we were being asked to play music that had nothing to do with that. We kind of said ‘f*** you’ a little bit, and they sort of acted like they wanted us to play, but I don’t think they wanted us to play.”
Oy oy oy! Talk about biting the hand that feeds! Vernon went on to say that they were asked to play with “Awesome people. People that I would love to play a song with. But you know what? F***in’ rock n’ roll should not be decided by people that have that job. Rock n’ roll should be the f***ing people with guitars around their backs. And their friends. And their managers.”
This isn’t the first time Vernon has lashed out at the Grammys — before Bon Iver was nominated Vernon said of the Grammys, “it’s just not important and people spend too much time thinking about it.” Sigh, we were looking forward to Bon Iver at the Grammys, but for now it looks like we’ll just have to settle for their SNL performance this weekend.