The show will no longer go on in Saudi Arabia as far as Nicki Minaj is concerned. The rapper had been scheduled to take the stage at Jeddah World Fest on July 18. But she said her support of the rights of marginalized groups in the country has led her to reconsider.
“After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest. While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression,” Minaj said in a statement issued to The Associated Press Tuesday, July 9.
Jeddah World Fest is in line with the laws of the Middle Eastern country and thus participates in segregation of men and women. It also forbids same-sex relationships. The event is open only to those who are ages 16 and older and it prohibits the consumption of alcohol.
Minaj took to Twitter Tuesday evening to expound upon her reasoning for axing her performance.
“I performed in Jamaica before & when i got off the stage I was surrounded by police with guns drawn. They were ready 2 take me to jail b/c they said I forgot to bleep a couple curses…. I could make one mistake & go to jail in a diff country where women have no rights. #FreeAsap,” Minaj tweeted, ending her post with a call for Swedish police to release A$AP Rocky. After being detained 2 weeks stemming from a street brawl, TMZ reported the rapper is being kept in inhumane conditions.
However, people aren’t feeling sympathetic toward the performer over her explanation for her actions. Commenters on Instagram took aim at her for appearing to make the situation about her.
“Why did she have to make it about herself tho 🤦🏽♀️”
“HOW TF SHE MAKE THIS ABOUT HERSELF?? and tryna compare sweden AND JAMAICA to … saudi Arabia. ARE YOU DUMB??!”
“Quit tryna make it about you 🖕🏾”
“Why she always gotta make something about her 🙄”
But while internet users are up in arms over Minaj’s explanation for her ditching the event, New York-based nonprofit The Human Rights Foundation, which earlier called for entertainers to back out of Jeddah World Fest, praised the choice.
“This is what leadership looks like. We are grateful to Nicki Minaj for her inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime’s transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt,” the AP reported the organization said in part.