After M.I.A. flipped the bird during the Super Bowl halftime show back in 2012, the NFL sued the singer for what was then a measly $US1.5 million.
“The figure is based on what advertisers would have paid for ads during this time,” notes The Hollywood Reporter of M.I.A.’s two-minute segment during Madonna’s performance that was viewed in 167 million TV households.
M.I.A. has already filed response papers, stating “The claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic.”
The singer-rapper tells the arbitrator that the “continued pursuit of this proceeding is transparently an exercise by the NFL intended solely to bully and make an example of Respondents for daring to challenge NFL.”
Yesterday, M.I.A. tweeted pictures of a document from the NFL, showing exactly what they wanted from her. “This is what they want me to sign, that I’ve been fighting for two years on top of $US16 million,” she wrote.
As Rolling Stone explains, “Using a tiered system based on her income, included in an image, the NFL allegedly requested percentages of her salary depending on how much she made. Were she to make between $US500,000 and $US2.5 million in a year, it would collect 50 per cent of her gross earnings. Should she top out over $US5 million, it would take everything.”
M.I.A. is arguing that other musicians have also pushed the limits during past Super Bowl halftime shows, such as Michael Jackson “grabbing his crotch” in 1993 or Prince’s suggestive performance in 2007.
She also claims that the NFL and NBC should hold themselves responsible for the failure of their five-second delay, which could have censored her. “Any alleged fault or liability of [M.I.A.] should be diminished by NBC’s dereliction,” the document reads. “Discovery has not been taken yet to determine whether contractually NBC owed a duty to NFL to properly operate the delay system.”
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