In an effort to show support for human rights, Nicki Minaj has reportedly pulled out of a concert she was scheduled to perform on July 18 in Saudi Arabia. Being that Saudi Arabian women are forced to comply with laws that prevent them from making decisions without the permission of a male relative, the singer has chosen to cancel her performance to stand by those who are fighting for gender equality as well as freedom of expression. The event was set to take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium with Liam Payne and Steve Aoki scheduled to perform.
Nicki was called on by the Human Rights Foundation to cancel her performance
In a statement to the Associated Press, the Megatron singer 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.”
Dubbed as “one of the biggest music events ever staged in the Middle East,” the performer saw herself in a situation after the Human Rights Foundation called on her to cancel her performance. In an online statement the president of the New York based foundation, Thor Halvorssen said: “There is no good reason for Minaj to do business with the Saudi dictatorship. If she proceeds with the show, she will be whitewashing the vast array of human rights crimes committed by MBS [Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman].”
In a statement, the rapper said: "It is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, and freedom of expression.”
As it is seen, the Middle Eastern country is oppressive of women, and segregation between genders is still enforced in many public places. It was only until June 2018 that women were given permission to drive. Over the past few months Saudi Arabia has seen performances from Enrique Iglesias, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and more.
Moreover, the foundation's president continued, “HRF’s hope is that Minaj, Liam Payne and the other headliners will prioritize morals over money, cancel their scheduled performances in Jeddah and instead use their considerable fame to issue public statements of solidarity with the millions of women living under the oppressive rule of MBS.”