M.I.A.’s Finger Upstages Madonna, NBC Apologizes

The Super Bowl XLVI Halftime show was supposed to mark Madonna’s musical comeback, but when it came time for her to perform the song “Give Me All Your Luvin’”, it was M.I.A., more specifically M.I.A.’s middle finger, who took center stage at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.

After performing her verse of the song, M.I.A. finished off her part by flipping off the cameras. NBC censors did blur the image, but it was less than a second after the fact.

“Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers,” said NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey to the Associated Press.

“The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans,” said spokesman for the NFL Brian McCarthy.

Just how many people watched M.I.A.’s raised middle finger?

Early numbers are in, and it was pretty “giant”. Sunday’s game reached a 47.8 rating, the third highest NFL telecast in history.