American broadcaster NBC has apologized after M.I.A. showed her middle finger to the crowd during her Super Bowl half-time performance on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Londoner made the gesture while performing with Madonna in her new single, Give Me All Your Luvin. Both M.I.A. and rapper Nicki Minaj have worked on the single with Madonna.

We apologize for the inappropriate gesture that aired during half-time, NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey told BBC. It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late.

After M.I.A.'s gesture, the screen was briefly blurred in a failed attempt to cut out the camera shot, while NFL blamed a failure in NBC's delay system for allowing the gesture to be aired, BBC reported.

According to NBC, since M.I.A., whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, didn't do anything similar during rehearsals, there was no reason to believe that the singer would do anything at the show.

The NFL hired the talent and produced the half-time show, said McCloskey. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.

M.I.A.'s gesture on Sunday was the first controversial incident during the Super Bowl's half-time show since Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction in 2004.

During a performance in Super Bowl's half-time show with Justin Timberlake, Jackson's breast got exposed for a while that reportedly led then broadcaster CBS in trouble with America's Federal Communications Commission.

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