“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.”
Prior to her decision to cancel her concert, Minaj was originally scheduled to headline the concert on July 18. According to reports, Saudi Arabia has continued to separate and alienate their women from men while outlawing any same sex relation.
In Saudi Arabia, gender segregation between single men and women is still enforced in many restaurants, coffee shops, public schools and universities, but other rules have loosened with women now allowed to drive and attend events in sports stadiums.
The women of Saudi Arabia who would have attended Minaj’s concert would have been forced to wear a full Abaya and only allowed to be in attendance with a male guardian or with permission from a male in her household.
Last week, Minaj was criticized by the founder of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor Halvorssen for her decision to perform in Saudi Arabia. Halvorssen stated:
“You recently celebrated Pride Week to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Yet, if you move forward with this performance, you will be condoning, and serving the public relations needs, of a government that executes homosexuals for the ‘crime’ of being who they are.
Reportedly, Saudi organizers said the concert will be broadcast globally. Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, The Black Eyed Peas, and Sean Paul.
What are your thoughts on Nicki’s decision to cancel her concert? Let us know in the comments!