Apr 27, 2018
In Terrifying War Of Acronyms, N.F.L. Sues M.I.A.
Do you remember SuperBowl 2012, or XXXXIIIIMMMMVVVVV or however that fancy Roman numeral-ing goes? I do not, because of the not caring and the short term memory loss from all the drinking. Apparently, though, the NFL has been having many feelings since 2012 about the halftime performance.
Damn. I REALLY don’t remember the halftime performance. Was it Beyonce? Nope, wait. That was this year. Up With People? New Kids on the Block? Janet Jackson’s Nipple?
Oh. Madonna. Really? Madonna? And M.I.A.? I do not remember this at all despite being large-ish fans of both. Since I don’t even remember who performed, I certainly didn’t fucking remember that M.I.A. flipped off the cameras, you, your mom, the entire free world, whatever:
You didn’t care. I didn’t care. Your Super Bowl party attendees didn’t care. Your mom certainly didn’t care as much as that Janet Jackson Nipple time. Apparently the NFL cared very deeply though:
One month after the performance, the league initiated legal proceedings against the English-Sri Lankan rapper-singer. In a March 13, 2012, filing at the American Arbitration Association, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the league demanded $1.5 million from M.I.A. for allegedly breaching her performance contract and tarnishing its goodwill and reputation.
It will surprise no one to learn that M.I.A.’s response has been to laugh heartily at the notion that the NFL’s reputation is tarnished by hand gestures but not by all the other things like felon players and homophobia and racism and ignoring head injuries. Guess what? I agree that those things are bad and for reals, NFL, you can be kinda terrible, but also for reals, M.I.A., you signed a contract with a morals clause! A morals clause that very probably came into existence because of Janet Jackson’s Nipple. So, regardless of some bullshit agitprop stance about how the NFL is terrible and your flipoff was meta, and regardless of the fact that I’ve played “Paper Planes” an infinity amount of times while driving around in the car, you are going to lose this lawsuit so hard, so just pay up and be done with it.
True fact: when wikipedia-ing this to make the Up With People crack, I learned that Ella Fitzgerald was the halftime performer at Superbowl VI. ELLA FITZGERALD YOU GUYS. And Carol Channing. Together. At the Superbowl. There is no amount of money I would not pay to see a film of that performance.