Madonna’s Superbowl halftime show was a spectacle of Roman soldiers, special guests like Cee-Lo and Nicki Minaj, and was supposed to represent the comeback of a pop legend.

But some of that spotlight was stolen by singer M.I.A., who flashed the middle finger during the live performance of Madonna’s new single “Give Me All Your Luvin.'” with the line “I don’t give a sh*t.” It’s not quite Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” from eight years ago, but the NFL and NBC immediately apologized, saying that “the obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans.” Editors hastily attempted to blur and censor the broadcast, which was viewed by over 10 million people (and of course will live on in YouTube infamy), but anyone watching closely probably caught it anyway. I’m sure that we’ve all seen a raised middle finger before, but just in case, watch…

M.I.A. has been pretty low profile since her 2007 hit “Paper Planes,” so I suppose this juvenile gesture was a nice way to remind all of us of her edgy image and get us to talk about her and her new music. It’s pretty silly that something like a finger can make people so upset, but everyone knows what it is and that it’s not something you break out on national live television. Are we supposed to believe that anyone, even a stage performer, has flipping the bird boiling in her soul all times and one vulgar lyric brings it popping up to the surface? I have to call M.I.A.’s blatantly inappropriate move a sad effort to grab attention.

What do you think?

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