Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Entertainment

Rapper M.I.A. fights back against massive NFL lawsuit.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 01:58

Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. awaits a response from the NFL after filing a complaint over the its demand for $16.6 million following her halftime performance during the 2012 Super Bowl. Joel Flynn reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS PROFANE GESTICULATION On one side you have a Sri Lankan rapper, known for courting controversy with her music. On the other you have one of the biggest and richest sporting organisations in the world, the NFL. That hasn't stopped M.I.A. from fighting the lawsuit being brought against her by the National Football League. The music artist, whose real name is Maya Arulpragasam, raised her middle finger to the audience during a half time show at the Super Bowl in 2012, something for which the NFL was demanding 1.5 million dollars for breach of contract. But now it's also demanding an additional 15.1 million dollars in "restitution" for the exposure it got her. And that, says her lawyer Howard E. King, is wrong. SOUNDBITE: Attorney Representing Maya Arulpragasam (M.I.A.), Howard E. King, saying (English): "I think the NFL is piling on Maya like there's no tomorrow, and I can't figure out why. I don't know if it's because of the genre in which she performs, or the color of her skin, or her nationality. But it's piling on. In this same performance, had these 16 year old girls in the background, thrusting their pelvises to the camera, it's more obscene." King and M.I.A. also argue that previous Super Bowl halftime performance have exhibited "obscene" behaviour as well, like Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction in 2004. SOUNDBITE: Attorney Representing Maya Arulpragasam (M.I.A.), Howard E. King, saying (English): "So you had Michael Jackson performing, a fantastic performer, who happens to grab his crotch. You have Prince performing, with a phallic symbol guitar up in the air being stroked. Who's to judge whether that's more or less obscene? It's cutting edge, it's something they chose to do. Then you have Maya, M.I.A., who you hired for free, knowing what she did. I mean, she's a hardcore rapper. Anybody in the NFL who spent two minutes would know her reputation for cutting edge performance. They wanted that." Arbitration proceedings continue.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Rapper M.I.A. fights back against massive NFL lawsuit.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 01:58