Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Nicki Minaj Pulls out of Saudi Arabia Concert
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
July 10, 2019

Share

NEW YORK — Nicki Minaj is pulling out of a concert in Saudi Arabia because she says she wants to show support for women’s rights, gay rights and freedom of expression.

“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 Minaj
“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,” Minaj said in a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press.
Minaj was originally scheduled to headline the concert on July 18.
In Saudi Arabia, gender segregation between single men and women is still enforced in many restaurants, coffee shops, public schools and universities, but other rules have loosened with women now allowed to drive and attend events in sports stadiums.
Jeddah World Fest, which in line with Saudi laws is alcohol and drug-free, is open to people 16 and older and will take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in the Red Sea city. Other performers include former One Direction member Liam Payne and DJ-producer Steve Aoki.
The Human Rights Foundation issued a statement last week, calling for Minaj and other performers to pull out of the show. On Tuesday, the New York-based organization praised Minaj’s decision to not perform at the concert.
“This is what leadership looks like. 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,” said Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation. “The July 18 festival in Saudi Arabia still shows Liam Payne as a performer.
We hope that he follows Nicki Minaj’s lead. Minaj’s moral stance differs from celebrity performers like J-Lo and Mariah Carey who in the past have chosen to line their pockets with millions of dollars and stand with dictatorial governments as opposed to with oppressed communities and imprisoned human rights activists.”

There’s a Hard Limit to the Reforms

Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, David Guetta and Tiesto. That’s a stark change from when Saudi morality police would raid establishments that played loud music.

Saudi Arabia saw profound change last year as a result of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s top-down reform efforts, including the opening of the first movie theater and the lifting of the world’s only ban on women driving.
Saudi organizers said the Jeddah World Fest will be broadcast globally. The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend.
Saudi Arabia saw profound change last year as a result of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s top-down reform efforts, including the opening of the first movie theater and the lifting of the world’s only ban on women driving.
In December 2018, women — some without headscarves — drove themselves to a Formula-E car race where thousands of young Saudis and hundreds of international visitors partied into the night at concerts. The spectacle would have been unthinkable until recently in the ultra-conservative kingdom where religious police used to enforce strict gender segregation and scolded women for not covering their hair.
But there’s a hard limit to the reforms — as revealed by the brutal killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents close to the crown prince in October and the reported torture of several women’s rights activists in detention. While the arena for entertainment is widening, the space for political engagement and dissent has virtually disappeared.
The 33-year-old crown prince, backed by his father King Salman, presides over a nation where he alone defines the pace and scope of change.

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

UP NEXT

Fresno Monopoly is Coming. You Have a Chance to Make It Your Own.

UP NEXT

New Version of Scrabble Aims to Make the Word-Building Game ‘Inclusive’

UP NEXT

College Students Are Flocking to the Marriage Pact, Mostly for Fun, but Some Find Lasting Love

UP NEXT

Legendary Comedians Seinfeld and Carolla Lead Fresno Entertainment Lineup

UP NEXT

Beyoncé Becomes First Black Woman to Hit No. 1 on Billboard Country Albums Chart

UP NEXT

Morgan Wallen Arrested After Police Say He Threw a Chair Off Roof of a 6-Story Bar

UP NEXT

A Wood Pellet Grill Craze Is Sweeping the Country

UP NEXT

Rapping, Bucking, and Rocking: There’s Plenty of Weekend Events in the Central Valley

UP NEXT

This Mob-Era Casino Is Closing on the Las Vegas Strip. Here’s Some Big Moments in Its 67 Years

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

2 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

2 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

2 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

2 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

2 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

2 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

17 hours ago

17 hours ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

17 hours ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

1 day ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

2 days ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend