In a statement released on Tuesday, Nicki said, "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."
Nicki's comes after several human rights organizations urged her to reconsider her appearance due to the country's oppressiveness. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the festival is alcohol-free and intended for audiences 16 and older. While women are allowed to attend the concert, they will be required to wear full Abaya and watch the performance from a different area. This led the Human Rights Foundation to publicly asked Minaj to cancel as the current regime oppresses "tens of millions of Saudis."
"Ms. Minaj, as you can see, you are scheduled to perform at a state-sponsored event in one of the most repressive regimes on earth—a country whose leader has also led a relentless campaign to silence women's rights activists," HRF CEO Thor Halvorssen wrote in an open letter. "Many of the women who have advocated to lift the driving ban in Saudi Arabia are currently in jail and being subjected to torture that includes electric shocks, flogging, and rape." The plea went on to explain that the country's LGBTQ communities have also been victimized by the government.
"If you move forward with this performance for a festival sponsored by the Crown Prince, you will be in league with the people who respond to freedom of expression and thought with murder," Halvorssen continued.
Upon hearing the reports, some of Nicki's Saudi Arabian fans were understandably upset. To this, she combated their grievances by genuinely asking if LGBTQ+ people could attend the concert without being arrested. This created an open dialogue on the situation resulting in conflicting reports.