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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

M.I.A.’s Super Bowl Hijinks Could Mean Breach of Contract


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1/1/2016
Jonathan Cooper
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The Super Bowl earlier in February featured some on-field amazement with the underdog New York Giants defeating the New England Patriots during America’s biggest sporting event of the year. But hits, touchdowns, and last second passes weren’t the only topics dominating headlines the following Monday morning. 

This Super Bowl could have instigated a breach of contract, but not from one of the wide receivers or the ever under-appreciated assistant coaches. The topic for the upcoming legal dispute happened during halftime.

The musical artist M.I.A., who performed with Madonna for the halftime show, made an obscene gesture to the camera and included profane language in her lyrics. It may have been a publicity stunt to revive the artist’s idle career, but it could put her career back in the gutter before she was even back on the road to stardom. 

Not only could the FCC be knocking on her door to discuss the performance, M.I.A. could be in breach of contract with the NFL. All performers sign a contract with the NFL, who is responsible for the content it airs, that states what kind of behavior is expected. The acceptable behavior does not involve curse words or obscene gestures, and she may have violated the terms of her contract with the league. 

The strict guidelines have been in place since the 2004 Super Bowl incident with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, commonly known as the “wardrobe malfunction.” The NFL and NBC have apologized for the failure of the signal delay system that was designed to protect against this type of situation. 

While the system failure will be investigated, blame is not going to be shifted away from M.I.A. The National Football League will more than likely pursue a breach of contract lawsuit against the one-hit wonder.

The specifics of a breach of contract case can be quite tricky. Both parties in a contract should have sufficient legal representation if contract issues become apparent. If you need help with questions regarding contract discrepancies, contact a New York breach of contract attorney who may be able to answer those questions. The Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper offer free consultations, and you can order their book When You Don't Have a Written Agreement for free online.



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