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Nicki Minaj Cancels Saudi Arabia Performance After Heavy Backlash

elizabethdspina 11 Jul 2019

After some careful calculations, Nicki Minaj has decided not to move forward with performing in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, at the upcoming festival, Jeddah World Fest.

Nicki Minaj has pulled out of performing at Jeddah World Fest in Saudi Arabia.

After it was unveiled that Nicki would be headlining the festival, she faced major backlash from fans.

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Fans urged Nicki to research the country's human rights record and reconsider performing there at all.

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She was scheduled to perform there on July 18th. But after following the instruction of her critics by doing some in-depth research, Nicki made a judgment call.

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While she would probably love to perform for the fans of her's there, she feels that it would contradict her support for women's rights and the LGBTQ community.

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For those of you that don't know, Saudi Arabia is considered to be an extremely conservative country.

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Many parts of the country are deeply divided and segregated by gender.

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Child marriage is legal and common, and same-sex relationships are aggressively disapproved of and criminalized.

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The country has been more heavily scrutinized after the recent the murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul last October.

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And to add insult to injury, in March, the kingdom put 10 women's rights activists on trial for committing "cyber crimes".

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Four of the women on trial alleged that they had been tortured while in detention.

The Saudi officials claimed that the allegations were untrue, but the women revealed they had been punished with electric shocks, whippings, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

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So, naturally, as Nicki Minaj found all of this out, she realized that performing there would not be ethical toward her own beliefs and support for human rights.

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Nicki released a statement explaining her choice to cancel her show.

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"After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest," she wrote.

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She explained that she wants her support for women's rights and LGBTQ rights to be clearly understood.

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"While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia," she continued.

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"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."

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Ultimately, this was a huge disappointment to her fans in Saudi Arabia that had already purchased tickets to see her perform.

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In an attempt to smooth things over with those fans, she posted this photo on Instagram, asking them to voice their concerns in the comments.

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While her Saudi fans were unhappy with her decision, the Human Rights Foundation applauded her choice.

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"THANK YOU @NICKIMINAJ for cancelling your #SaudiArabia concert and for supporting LGBTQ & women's rights," they tweeted.

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"Millions of people around the world are inspired by your devotion to human rights and human dignity."

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"We at @HRF salute you & are grateful for your leadership," the tweet continued.

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The president of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor Halvorssen, personally commented on the matter, voicing his support for Nicki's decision to cancel her show.

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“This is what leadership looks like,” he said.

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“We are grateful to Nicki Minaj for her inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime’s transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt.”

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The foundation is now urging other artists to follow Nicki's lead and pull out of the festival as well.

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The former member of One Direction, Liam Payne, is still set to perform at the festival — but Halvorssen is encouraging him and hopes that “he follows Nicki Minaj’s lead.”

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Let us know what you think of Nicki's decision to cancel her performance at Jeddah World Fest.

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