On Tuesday, less than a week after Saudi organizers announced Nicki Minaj would be the headline act at the Jeddah World Fest, the Queens-bred Barbie has pulled out of the show.
In an effort to show support for women, the LGBTQ community and the freedom of expression, Minaj has decided to cancel her groundbreaking performance in Saudi Arabia, according to the Associated Press.
“After careful reflection, I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” Minaj said in the statement. “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’s decision came after widespread criticisms over the Saudi government’s hypocrisy in allowing Minaj to perform, all while enforcing gender segregation and other strict rules against women, including wearing full coverage during the show. The decision also came after the Human Rights Foundation issued a statement, calling for Minaj and other performers to pull out of the show, which is still scheduled to take place on July 18.