After announcing her decision to pull out of headlining Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah World Fest on Tuesday (July 9), out of respect “for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression,” Nicki Minaj took to Instagram to directly address her Saudi Arabian fans.
In a simple text post, Minaj wrote: “Saudi Arabia: I see some of your comments & I want to respond directly to my fans. Voice your opinions here,” complete with a red heart emoji.
Minaj’s followers wasted no time telling her their feelings, with the post amassing more than 15,000 comments within the first hour.
The top comment, with 537 likes, stated: “Please don’t let us down, 11 thousand ticket [sic] was bought in only one hour please we want you there is a lot of barbz from Saudi arabia literally I’m crying.” Minaj responded with a praying-hands emoji, writing, “I love you guys. Can women go to the concert without a man? Pls answer.”
To this, replies were extremely mixed, ranging from “yes lol the media fabricated everything” to “not without a guardian… sad. But I believe there are some modern family that allow their womens [sic] to go by themself.”
In another reply to a fan, Minaj inquired about LGBTQ+ rights in the country: “Can an openly gay person go to the concert without being arrested?” Fans commented that though members of the LGBTQ+ would have to be “undercover” at the show, they could still attend. As one follower put it, “ONLY GAYS AND GIRLS ARE ATTENDING YOUR CONCERT ANYWAYS.”
On a more concerning note, one user responded to Minaj with “queen [they’re] stoning us here,” prompting the rapper to write “stoning you for what? That’s insane.” Other fans asked her to personally DM them to discuss the situation further, to which Minaj responded with “ok” and heart emojis.
Though it’s clear Minaj cares about what her fans think, it remains unknown exactly what her motive was regarding this post, as her re-entering the festival lineup is unlikely.