150 Pop Stars' Real Names
MATHANGI "MAYA" ARULPRAGASAM (a.k.a. M.I.A.)

NBC has apologized for M.I.A.'s middle finger moment during Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show.

The rapper flipped the bird while performing alongside Madonna and Nicki Minaj on the network's telecast, which was watched by millions as one of the biggest events on television.


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"The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show," NBC said in a statement to THR. "Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers."

The NFL also wasted little time in responding.

"The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans," said Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL, which produced Madonna's halftime show.

M.I.A., known for her rebellious, brash persona and music, performed in a cheerleader outfit for a performance of Madonna's latest single, "Gimme All Your Luvin,'" on which she and Minaj -- also onstage in a pom-pom girl uniform -- are featured rappers.

Her bratty gesture recalled another malfunction of the wardrobe variety in 2004, when Janet Jackson famously flashed a nipple while performing with Justin Timberlake in the halftime show, sending the FCC and viewers into a frenzy.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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