LOS ANGELES – M.I.A. is lashing out at the NFL’s reaction to her 2012 Super Bowl halftime performance.

The British-Sri Lankan singer has been embroiled with pro football officials over her Super Bowl XLVI show. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the league is upset because during a number with Madonna, M.I.A. raised her middle finger and mouthed, “I don’t give a ….”

Casual viewers of NBC’s live telecast could easily have missed the gesture and mouthed obscenity, which lasted only a second before the cameras cut away. While M.I.A. caught some flak from critics and viewers immediately after the show, the controversy died down after a few days.

But league officials, who remember the outrage over Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl, have had long memories this time. According to the Reporter, the NFL started an arbitration proceeding against the singer for breach of contract and has been seeking $1.5 million in damages. The league said in legal papers that M.I.A.’s behavior was a slap at NFL values.

Howard King, a lawyer for M.I.A., is hitting back hard. “The NFL’s claimed reputation for wholesomeness is hilarious, in light of the weekly felonies committed by its stars, the bounties placed by coaches on opposing players, the homophobic and racist comments uttered by its players, the complete disregard for the health of players and the premature deaths that have resulted from same …,” he was quoted as saying.

Harper Lee in a legal battle with museum

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee is at odds with a museum in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala.

Lee is seeking a trademark for the phrase “To Kill a Mockingbird” when it is used on clothing. The Monroe County Heritage Museum opposes the application, arguing the sale of souvenirs with the title of Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is vital to its continued operation.

Lee’s attorney, Robert Clarida, said the author, 87, has never received a penny from the museum’s sale of T-shirts, caps and other souvenirs.


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