In a show of support for women’s and gay rights in the ultra-conservative kingdom, Nicki Minaj canceled a performance in Saudi Arabia.
Minaj’s planned appearance as part of a cultural festival in western Jeddah had caused a social media backlash over the country’s human rights.
The rapper said that after thorough reflection, she decided that her planned concert at Jeddah World Fest would no longer move forward.
While she want nothing more than to take the show to her fans in Saudi Arabia, The rapper thinks that it’s essential for her to make an apparent support for women’s rights, the LGBTQ community and liberty of speech after better teaching herself on the problems.
The New York-based Human Rights Foundation wrote an open letter urging Minaj to withdraw from the festival, calling on her to refuse the money of the regime and use her global influence to demand the release of Saudi women activists in jail.
Amnesty International has defined the Saudi record of human rights as abysmal, adding that the country is in the “grip of a sweeping crackdown on public critics.
The festival in Saudi Arabia, which prohibits alcohol and has a rigid social code, arises as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pursues a liberalization drive that has led to fresh cinemas, concerts and sporting extravagances.
Some see the reforms as an effort to blunt government frustration over financial downturn and elevated youth unemployment.