Nicki Minaj Faces Stepped-Up Pressure to Cancel Her Concert in Saudi Arabia
The Human Rights Foundation is calling on Nicki Minaj to cancel an upcoming performance at the Jeddah World Fest.
The festival takes place in Saudi Arabia later this month.
The HRF sent Minaj an open letter describing what it calls a “human rights crisis” in Saudi Arabia. Minaj is slated as one of the headliners for the festival along with Liam Payne, Steve Aoki, R3 Wire & Varski.
The event will take place on July 18th.
The open letter implores Minaj and other performers to think about what performing in the country will mean.
“If you move forward with this performance for a festival sponsored by the Crown Prince, you will be in league with the people who respond to freedom of expression and thought with murder.”
Lawyers for Minaj have not directly responded to requests for comment.
The HRF’s open letter criticizes Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Crown Prince is financing the event and authorized Minaj’s performance, probably with a big fat check.
HRF also draws a stark contrast to Minaj’s support of the LGBTQ community during Pride Week.
“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.”
The HRF says the performance would be disastrous for a public figure of Minaj’s standing.
It will be interesting to see how she responds to the pressure. Several high-profile singers and performers have faced public scrutiny over performing in Saudi Arabia. The Black Eyed Peas, Enrique Iglesias, OneRepublic, and Mariah Carey are just a few names who have performed in the Kingdom.
The Human Rights Foundation has been leading the charge on each of these call-outs, though they seem to be falling on deaf ears.