Love & Sex

Which Super Bowl Halftime Performance Was More Offensive: M.I.A.’s Middle Finger or Prince’s Penis Guitar?

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The answer is worth $16.6 million.

M.I.A. memorably flipped America the bird during her performance at the 2012 Super Bowl alongside Madonna. As of Friday, the NFL (still pissed off, more than two years later) is demanding $16.6 million in restitution. In response, M.I.A.'s legal team has filed documents asserting that Prince's turn in the 2007 halftime show was at least as provocative as the British-born Sri Lankan rapper's obscene gesture.

In case you forgot how the artist currently known as Prince's incredible performance went down, here's how M.I.A.'s lawyers (poetically) describe it.

During part of his performance, he was illuminated against the backdrop of a billowing sheet of fabric to project a huge shadow of himself. His oversized shadow was shown caressing the neck of his stylized trademark guitar…as if stroking an erect oversized phallus…

Sorry, Maya, but we're Team Prince on this one. Risqué though it was, Prince's phallic silhouette was a quick wink at the audience — you didn't give us the finger from behind a curtain, you just went ahead and gave us the finger. (And may I add, fuck you, too.) Besides, unlike you, Prince had his routine approved in full by the NFL in advance.

Agree? Disagree? Watch the performances and decide for yourself. (Prince's sheet drops at 9:40.)

Image via Stereogum.