Nicki Minaj has reportedly pulled out of an upcoming festival performance after her booking met with a public backlash due to the festival’s controversial location, according to the Associated Press. She already canceled a number of shows during her recent European tour but unlike those concerts, this one was one she decided to eighty-six herself. Nicki’s decision to play the Jeddah World Fest next week met with public outcry due to the nation’s stance on women’s and LGBTQ issues and rights.
In a statement released today, Nicki said: “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 has been outspoken on double standards in rap in the past, so her statement is in line with her previously stated positions, even if some of her actions haven’t always lined up with them.
The response to Nicki’s performance came in large part from The Human Rights Foundation, which issued a statement imploring the rapper to consider the message her performance would send. Saudi Arabia enforces gender separation public schools and universities and private businesses both, but recently loosened laws to allow women to drive and attend sporting events.
Aside from technical difficulties and political statements, Nicki has also been known to pull out of shows over hurt feelings as well. She most recently refused to perform at events associated with the BET Awards after an unflattering Facebook post compared her to Cardi B, taking the opportunity to gloat over the show’s record low ratings after the fact.