The news of Nicki Minaj performing in Saudi Arabia spread as fast as her decision to withdraw.
The news that Nicki Minaj would be performing in Saudi Arabia spread like wildfire. The idea of a rapper like Nicki Minaj who is known for her risque lyrics as well as bold outfit choices would perform in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia gave rise to a lot of questions.
Nicki Minaj was all set to perform and headline at the Jeddah World Fest which is scheduled to be held later this month. But after the news broke of her intent to perform, human rights activists and groups galvanized into action to plea with Nicki Minaj not to perform in Saudi Arabia.
A U.S. based non-profit called Human Rights Foundation wrote a detailed letter to Nicki Minaj about why performing in Saudi Arabia was a bad idea.
They highlighted the fact that the festival was funded by crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman. They talked about how the Saudi government including the crown prince did not allow any freedom of expression among their people and had a history of punishing LGBTQ people as well as activists who dared to dissent.
They reminded Nicki Minaj in the letter that while she was a proud ally of the LGBTQ movement, and had even partaken in Pride celebrations, being LGBTQ in Saudi Arabia was a punishable offense.
They outlined the history of oppressing women the country has had among other things and requested Nicki Minaj to rethink her performance in Saudi Arabia.
After reading the letter, she took the decision to not perform at the Jeddah World Fest. In a statement released by Nicki Minaj, she said she would love to perform for her fans in Saudi Arabia but after better educating herself on the issues with the Saudi regime, since she stands in support of women and LGBTQ rights and thus she feels like she cannot perform.
Other artists who are headlining the event include Liam Payne and Steve Aoki and the Human Rights Foundation hopes they follow Nicki Minaj’s example and refuse to perform as well.
Since 2018, when restrictions were made a little lax, several American celebrities have made their way to Saudi Arabia. A lot of them have been criticized for doing so considering the country’s rocky history with upholding human rights.
What do you think about Nicki Minaj refusing to perform in Saudi Arabia? Let us know in the comments below.
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Cover Image Source: bbc.com