Nicki Minaj Accepts Invite To Perform In Saudi Arabia, Faces Backlash
By Connor Hachey
July 4, 2019
International Barbz don't know what to believe after "Megatron" rapper Nicki Minaj has accepted an offer to headline Saudi Arabia's upcoming Jeddah World Fest later this month on July 18th. It will take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in the Red Sea city and is reported to be the largest live music event ever to be produced in the conservative nation. In accordance with Saudi law, the event will be drug and alcohol free and will also be open to anyone 16 years of age and older.
The festival and Minaj have faced considerable backlash on social media since the announcement, with users calling out the country's harsh social policies and imploring the 'Anaconda' rapper to speak out about women's rights during her performance. As explained by Complex, Saudi Arabia has been slowly relaxing laws prohibiting women from driving - among other things - but gender segregation and strict guardianship laws are still contentious in the eyes of international critics.
Twitter user pineabaella stated in a thread:
I can’t attend the concert in Jeddah because my brother says no. @NICKIMINAJ Please speak up for women who can’t do anything because of the guardianship system in Saudi Arabia...what’s the point in bringing celebrities here when the majority of women’s choices whether to attend concerts or not are controlled completely by men?...You’re going to see women in the concert, but these women are lucky and have guardians who are ALLOWING them to attend, the majority are not...Please 99% if not 100% of men who are going to attend are enslaving their sisters, wives and mothers. They’re horrible, a fact.
British artist and former One Direction group member Liam Payne is also set to perform along with EDM DJ Steve Aoki. According to the event's website, more performers are set to be announced at a later date. It was also announced by the festival that it will be recorded for broadcast on MTV.
Photo: Getty Images