At the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show, singer M.I.A. whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, flipped the middle finger during her performance alongside Madonna. This was a strong violation of the NFL’s standards and the NFL took action seeking $1.5 million in damages. In March of this year, the NFL sought an additional $15.1 million in damages because of additional exposure she has received after her two-minute segment with Madonna.
Arulpragasam’s lawyer, Howard King, confirmed to ESPN.com Friday that M.I.A. and the NFL have reached a settlement but also said that he could not comment on the amount or when the settlement occurred. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN.com that the NFL would not comment.
Super Bowl performers sign contracts with the NFL that say that an artists actions and wardrobes must comply with NFL standards and failure to do so will result in fines.
M.I.A. tweeted this out with a link to ESPN’s article on Friday.
After the NFL announced it would pursue another $15.1 million in March of this year M.I.A. took to Twitter.
Apparently there were only 222 comments after the 2012 Super Bowl that included ads complaints. This is compared to 542,000 complaints after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl.
The NFL’s statement after the action read in part: “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans.”
According to ESPN.com, Howard King said on behalf of his client that “nothing in the performance … did anything to damage the reputation or goodwill of NFL (sic), or cause injury to NFL.” King further argued that the action didn’t result in any financial damage to the league, either because the FCC did not file fines or charges.