According to a report from Page Six, Nicki Minaj just pulled out of a concert in Saudi Arabia in support of women’s rights, as well as the treatment of gay and other LGBTQ people. Moreover, Nicki backed out of the country as part of her support for the freedom of expression – a constitutionally protected right in the United States.
Minaj said in a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday, “after careful reflection,” she decided not to visit the Saudi Arabian festival for her performance. The star said she didn’t want to go there because of her values, especially for those of the LGBTQ community as well as women.
Initially, the performer was supposed to rap in front of the Saudi Arabian crowd on the 18th of July. However, the Human Rights Foundation recently called out Minaj and other entertainers and suggested they look into the issue more and choose not to go.
Reportedly, Saudi Arabia is still gender-segregated – which is manifested in many ways, including women and men being forced to stay apart in public schools, coffee shops, restaurants, and also not being able to attend sports games.
However, in recent news, the country has relaxed some of those old and archaic laws, including the prohibition of women being able to drive cars as well as women being allowed to go to sports stadiums. In line with Saudia Arabian laws, the Jeddah World Fest doesn’t allow drinking or drugs. Big names such as Liam Payne and DJ Aoki will perform there.
Moreover, the kingdom is broadcasting electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend the ceremony. The concert will be broadcasted all over the world as well.
In the past few months, stars such as Tiesto, David Guetta, Sean Paul, The Black Eyed Peas, Enrique Iglesias, as well as Mariah Carey performed in the nation. Page Six reports this is a significant change from the past, for example, when Saudi police used to raid venues that played raucous music.