M.I.A. says JAY-Z urged her to sign a “ridiculous” lawsuit from the NFL

“I was like, ’no.’”

March 28, 2018
M.I.A. says JAY-Z urged her to sign a “ridiculous” lawsuit from the NFL M.I.A. attends the 68th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin.   Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

In an interview with Huck, M.I.A. discussed her new documentary, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., and the fall-out of her infamous 2012 NFL appearance, when she flicked her middle finger at the camera on live television, causing a stir in the event's wide audience. In the film, she says, "is a very tiny bit of what happened to me in real life" after the incident, which earned her a $16.6 million lawsuit from the NFL.

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“If you’re talking about racism and sexism, that moment in my life showed the cracks in everyone I knew," she says of the Super Bowl. "I was at Roc Nation at the time and Jay Z was managing me. The lawsuit was so ridiculous, it proposed that they would keep one hundred percent of my earnings for the rest of my life if I ever earned more than $2 million dollars. Jay Z was, like, 'you should sign that shit' and I was, like, 'no.'"

The film apparently uses the incident as a turning point in her career. She told Huck was shocking upon her first viewing, but warmed up to the decade-long project eventually.

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.
is in select theaters now. Read the full interview at Huck.

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M.I.A. says JAY-Z urged her to sign a “ridiculous” lawsuit from the NFL