After being pressured by human rights campaigners, American rapper Nicki Minaj announced on Tuesday night she is canceling her scheduled concert in Saudi Arabia to support women rights, gay rights and freedom of expression.
A report by the Associated Press cited Minaj confirming she decided to cancel her gig after “educating” herself on Saudi Arabia and the human rights violations committed in it.
“While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia… I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression.”
Meanwhile, the Saudi media had another take on the story.
According to several Saudi newspapers, the General Authority for Entertainment is the one who had canceled Minaj’s concert as she is “not compatible with the kind of concerts allowed in the Kingdom”.
After @NICKIMINAJ said she pulled out of a Saudi concert to show "support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community & freedom of expression," Saudi newspaper Okaz says directives were given to cancel the concert bc it "violated Saudi customs & values."https://t.co/cjEuMyouC3— Vivian Nereim (@viviannereim) July 10, 2019
Saudi newspaper Okaz, reported Minaj’s concert was canceled in Saudi Arabia in accordance with official directives because she “violates” Saudi customs and values.
The news sparked controversy and massive reactions in Saudi Arabia.
While the rapper’s fans expressed disappointment that she no longer will perform in the Kingdom, many went to defend their country.
Ok Nicki , mind your business and Stop talking about our country Saudi Arabia✋?, Saudi Women don't need your support and other people’s support as well , we have our full rights and we love our country! #Nicki_Minaj #نيكي_ميناج— abeer.ca (@ca_abeer) July 10, 2019
Others went to demand refunds as tickets were reportedly sold out.
@NICKIMINAJ— عبدالعزيز الرويلي ?? (@az0z96) July 10, 2019
All tickets are sold, even though they know your concert was canceled, anyone can replace you easily we don’t give a fuck for those who disrespect us.#نيكي_ميناج pic.twitter.com/B6JkR3LKyD
Meanwhile, some suspicious accounts believed to be run by electronic bots were seen sharing similar tweets attacking Minaj.
Go to hell, we do not want to honor your presence among us. Your existence was rejected from the ground of your morality, which does not conform to our principles and customs????.#Nicki_Minaj#نيكي_ميناج— T?♣️ (@toootayuu) July 9, 2019
Earlier last week, organisers of the Jeddah Season announced rapper star Nicki Minaj will perform in the country as part of the cultural festival on July 18, 2019.
This comes at a time the ultraconservative Kingdom has been trying to loosen restrictions on entertainment under the claimed social reforms by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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