Tuesday, September 26, 2023


February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Eight years ago, there was the case of the “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show. This year there was, what? — a time-delay malfunction? Whatever it might be called, it allowed M.I.A. to give a third-finger salute to the TV audience during the show. Following the game, an NFL spokesman told the Associated Press: “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans.” He added that M.I.A. had not made the gesture during her rehearsal and that no one suspected she might do so during the show. His remarks brought to mind CBS chief Les Moonves’s remarks after that 2004 show in which he said, “We attended all the rehearsals of the show, and there was no indication at any time that such an inappropriate display was contemplated.” For its part, the NFL, using almost the same words that it did regarding the M.I.A. affair, called the Jackson incident, “offensive, inappropriate and embarrassing.” It vowed “to change our policy … for managing the halftime entertainment to make sure something like that never happens again.” That it did proved to be an embarrassment for NBC, which nevertheless observed that the NFL had hired M.I.A., Madonna, and all the other talent appearing in the half-time show. However, it conceded, “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture, and we apologize to our viewers.” The conservative Parents Television Council, which spearheaded the campaign against CBS after the Janet Jackson incident in 2004, wasted no time dispatching a letter to the FCC about the latest incident. It demanded that the NFL and NBC “take immediate steps to hold those accountable for this offensive material in front of a hundred million Americans.”