Last week #NickiMinaj made headlines after being announced as the headliner of #SaudiArabia’s #Jeddah World Fest. It was a big deal for her to perform in such an ultraconservative kingdom who was coming off of decades of restrictions on entertainment.
But as much as she was praised for performing and helping the progression of the nation, there were also human rights activists who begged Nicki to reconsider given the country’s history of human rights violations and it sounds like Nicki listened.
Today she announced that she’s pulling out of the concert because she wants to show support for women’s rights, gay rights and freedom of expression, according to @ap.
“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,” Nicki said in a statement.
The Human Rights Foundation issued a statement last week, calling for Nicki and other performers to pull out of the show.
In Saudi Arabia, gender segregation between single men and women is still enforced in many establishments including restaurants, coffee shops, public schools and universities, but other rules have loosened with women now allowed to drive and attend events in sports stadiums.
Jeddah World Fest, which in line with Saudi laws, is an alcohol and drug-free event. It is open to people 16 and older and will take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in the Red Sea city.
Other performers include former One Direction member Liam Payne and DJ Steve Aoki.
Saudi organizers said the concert will be broadcast globally through MTV.
The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend.
Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas and Sean Paul.
Roommates, do you agree with Nicki’s decision? Let us know!
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh