IT HAS EMERGED that the NFL are demanding $16.6million (€11.9million) from British rapper MIA, as they attempt to sue her after she made a middle-finger gesture during a 2012 Super Bowl appearance.
The star’s lawyers have responded to the recent revelations, saying: “[This] is transparently an exercise … intended solely to bully [MIA]… and [to] make an example of [MIA] for daring to challenge [the] NFL.”
MIA has also tweeted a response to the news, saying: “THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT ME TO SIGN , THAT IVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR 2 YEARS ON TOP OF 16 MILLION.”
MIA was initially being sued for $1.5million (€1.1million), though the NFL are now interpreting her cameo appearance as a TV advertisement, which is where the latest figure is being derived from.
Documents revealed by the Hollywood Reporter highlighted MIA’s lawyers’ claims that the demand for $16.6million “lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic”.
The documents added: “NFL relies upon a fanciful notion that Maya effectively received … $15.1m in advertising value for herself by appearing as part of a cast of dozens… centre-screen for approximately 15 seconds.”
The NFL are claiming the star damaged their wholesome image as a result of her action, but MIA’s lawyers argue that “the actual, long-entrenched, demonstrable reputation of [the league] is for profane, bawdy, lascivious, demeaning and/or unacceptable behaviour”.
In addition, they point out that such controversy is far from unprecedented — MIA’s action prompted just 222 complaints in contrast with the 542,000 complaints the organisation received in 2004, following Janet Jackson’s infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction,’ while past performances by Michael Jackson and Prince have also been badly received in some quarters.
Although MIA protested the NFL’s decision, she also appeared to make light of the situation, tweeting Madonna and asking whether she can “borrow 16 million”.