Freddie Wong battles Katy Perry for Super Bowl halftime audience

NBC News:

During Sunday’s Super Bowl, millions of eyes will be glued to television screens watching Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz perform during the halftime show. But YouTube is making a play for some of those eyes with its own, live streaming halftime show, featuring some of the biggest names online.

The live stream, the company said on its blog, will include more than 20 YouTube stars. The show will entertain viewers with fake Super Bowl ads, musical numbers and stunts, according to Bloomberg.

Among the stars recruited by YouTube is Freddie Wong, the man behind the hit show “Video Game High School,” (VGHS) which Variety named as the best web series of 2013. Wong co-founded RocketJump, the production company that makes the series. RocketJump has clocked more than 1 billion views and 7 million subscribers through its YouTube channel. VGHS is also available through Netflix.

Forbes recently named Wong as one of Hollywood & Entertainment’s 30 Under 30, joining the ranks of Blake Lively, Zac Efron, Keira Knightley and Emma Watson. Another honoree from the publication’s list, Harley Morenstein, co-founder of web show EpicMealTime, will host the YouTube halftime show.

Just last week, Hulu announced that it will team up with Lionsgate, Wong, and the rest of his team for an original comedy series. The weekly 30-minute shows will give a behind-the-scenes look into the creation of a RocketJump video. While the release date has yet to be announced, curious fans will just have to catch Wong online during the Super Bowl for now.


M.I.A. caught in legal war with NFL over Super Bowl middle finger

It seems like ages since M.I.A. flashed her middle finger while performing “Give Me All Your Luvin‘” alongside Madonna and Nicki Minaj at the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show. The rapper has been engaged in a legal battle over the incident ever since. For the past 18 months, the NFL has been demanding that M.I.A. pay $1.5 million and issue a public apology after she gave the middle finger and mouthed “I don’t give a shit” during her performance, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Hollywood Reporter obtained documents filed at the American Arbitration Association that indicate the NFL pursued legal action to the noisy tune of $1.5 million in damages, arguing M.I.A. allegedly breached her contract with the organization and damaged its reputation. The proceedings were reportedly filed on March 13, 2012 — slightly more than one month after the performance in question.

A hush-hush legal war between M.I.A. and the NFL has therefore been going on for well over a year now. Just last week, lawyers associated with the NFL sought to have the 38-year-old rapper deemed liable, according to THR. If successful, the case will move on to a trial. If the battle gets that far, M.I.A. reportedly plans to make the goings-on more widely known.

M.I.A. still hopes to settle the dispute out of the public spotlight, but her lawyer, Howard King, made it clear that the singer won’t back down if the situation escalates. King mocked the attention the NFL has given to M.I.A.’s actions “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, and the raping of public entities ready to sacrifice public funds to attract teams.”

In the wake of the Super Bowl, Madonna called M.I.A.’s move “a teenage thing to do”and said she found it an “irrelevant” action.

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M.I.A. caught in legal war with NFL over Super Bowl middle finger

MIA during the Super Bowl XLVI half-time show