Fickle finger of fate had Hampton U. community buzzing

Viewers anticipated a lively, possibly provocative Super Bowl XLVI halftime show starring Madonna with Nicki Minaj.

However, during the high-energy performance, a third singer-dancer, M.I.A., made an obscene gesture with her finger. That hip-hop performer's act ignited buzz among viewers and the media. Nicky Minaj and M.I.A. with Madonna at Superbowl XLVI

How serious was M.I.A.'s gesture, bad taste, or much ado about nothing?

Student reporters Erin Phillips and Ashley Johnson of the Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications gathered campus reaction:


"Yeah, she's wrong. You don't go around on national TV flipping the bird. M.I.A is a well-known artist. As an artist you have responsibilities to account for. She shouldn't be doing things like that." – Brandon Wilson, computer science, junior, Rockville, Md.

"I did not see it and I had no idea about M.I.A. putting up her middle finger. But I really enjoyed Madonna's performance. It was very youthful." – James Hobbs, marketing, Philadelphia.

"She is a rebellious artist and she was just trying to make a statement. I don't think that she was trying to offend viewers in any way." – Lyncia Smith, journalism and communications, Nashville, Tenn.

"I do not think this should be accepted. The network has to do something about this. The whole performance was a little too much. The performance should be geared toward a much broader audience. I think a better performer would have been Justin Bieber." – Cameron Hawkins, business management, Pittsburgh.

" I barely noticed that she did it. I don't think it was a big deal. They're just trying to make a big deal out of nothing. There's worse things on TV for people to see. – Lindsey Brown, marketing, senior, Vacaville, Calif.

" I never noticed it. It's inappropriate, but if they didn't tell her that she couldn't flip the finger she isn't at fault." – Melissa English, MBA, Durham, N.C.

"Why did the network let her pick the song if they knew what the content of the lyrics were? – Zach Hines, theater performance/math, senior, Newport News, Va.

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