January 13, 2016


M.I.A.: "Extremely Arrogant" French Soccer Team Should Back Off

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Back in November, M.I.A. shared the video for "Borders" in the lead-up to her fifth album, Matahdatah (one of the LPs we're most excited for in 2016). The clip, which has garnered more than 1 million views, evokes the struggle that Syrian refugees are facing in trying to immigrate to safer, stabler nations. M.I.A. is seen wearing a jersey for Paris Saint-Germain Football Club; she's modified the sponsorship logo for the Dubai-based Emirates airline to read Fly Pirates.

And in a delayed but hard-hitting response, the soccer team demanded on Monday that the "Borders" video be taken down within 24 hours, calling it an "unpleasant surprise" and saying "by causing us an image prejudice, you have unduly taken advantage from the considerable reputation of our club." There's also mention of "economic prejudice" incurred as a result of the video; compensation is demanded. The video, as of this publication, is still online (and viewable below).

Here's what Ms. Arulpragasam has to say about the situation as of Wednesday:

Previously, M.I.A. spoke to Noisey at length about Paris Saint-Germain's behavior:

"I just find it extremely arrogant that they are trying to police something like that. You can’t police who wears it, how they wear it, and when they wear it. If you’re representing a type of people and you’re making a film about Japanese samurai fighters, you’re going to have to put them in a samurai outfit. I think if you’re talking about migrants or refugees or people generally living in war-zones, unfortunately sportswear and football tops are part of the uniform. How are you going to police that? Obviously I can’t afford to go in court. I’ve been in court for four years now straight. If I have to spend another year in court, I don’t know what I’ll do."

Here's the "Borders" video, which is linked in a tweet pinned to the top of M.I.A.'s Twitter; if it won't play, Paris Saint-Germain F.C. got their way: