The singer said that cancels the performance in solidarity with women and the LGBT community.
The organizers of the music festival “Jeddah World Fest” in Saudi Arabia have published a list of artists who will take the stage instead of Niki Minaj who refused to participate. The singer supported the protest of the Foundation for Human Rights against gender segregation in the country.
Niki Minaj said that in this way she would support the rights of women, gays and freedom of expression, and also help her fans in Saudi Arabia. Human rights organizations praised the singer for her decision, and Thor Halvorssen, president of the Foundation for Human Rights, thanked Minaj for “her inspiring and serious decision to reject the obvious attempt by the Saudi regime to use her to deceive the public.” Other invited musicians did not comment on the request of human rights activists. Among them are Bruno Mars, 50 Cent, Future and Tyga.
Thor Halvorssen, in a statement for the Associated Press, criticized the guest artists. He said that he was “deeply saddened that they chose money instead of morality.”
These people constantly make public statements in support of LGBT rights and women’s rights, but apparently not when they are handed a seven-figure check. I am amazed by this hypocrisy. Capital obviously has much more to them than principles.
Thor Halvorssen President of the Human Rights Foundation, quote by AP
Gender segregation — the separation between unmarried men and unmarried women in Saudi Arabia — manifests itself in many areas, such as the work environment. Women communicate with men exclusively by telephone, and in government offices and most private firms, women are located in separate buildings isolated from men.
In 2018, Saudi Arabia underwent a series of reforms: the first cinema was opened in the country and women were allowed to drive. At the same time, the state is criticized for harshly suppressing the opposition: the Washington Post journalist Jamal Hashukji was killed in the Saudi Turkish embassy. Also in custody were several human rights activists. Thor Halvorssen says that inviting eminent artists to the country is only “a clear PR move for distraction.”
As noted by AP, in Saudi Arabia, there is still a lot of progress compared to the time when the morals police organized raids in places where music is playing loudly. Over the past few months, Shaun Paul, Enrique Iglesias, The Black Eyed Peas and David Guetta have performed in the country.