The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be hosting a huge, internationally-accessible concert on July 18th, called the “Jeddah World Fest.” The list of performers included Nicki Minaj, former One Direction member Liam Payne, and Steve Aoki, a DJ-producer.
The Human Rights Foundation requested these artists to pull out of the show in support of the human rights activists imprisoned by the state for expressing dissent, as well as for the unfair laws enforced on women in Saudi Arabia.
Nicki Minaj, a successful female rapper in America, canceled her show at the “Jeddah World Fest,” stating, “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.”
This queen made the right choice. Yes, she may have lost a lot of money — and even a few fans from Saudi— but as a result, she has made a strong statement. She made the choice to use her fame to uplift human rights, and champion equality for all. She clearly explains that she has “better educated herself,” and then made a carefully considered decision — something that we all need to do more often.
The fact of the matter is that the choices we all make, no matter how big or small, feed into bigger pictures. So, whether our choice adds on to the injustice happening around the world, or is a step towards change for a better world—it’s all on us.
They say that actions speak louder than words. Individuals and celebrities that continue to perform in nations with questionable human rights are choosing NOT to use their elevated platforms in support of ending the execution and torture of innocent people for little more than dissenting against the status quo. They are, instead, choosing to stick their heads in the sand over literal life and death issues.
It’s all a choice.
A few days ago, Rami Malek turned down what I can assume would have been a lucrative role as an Arab terrorist in a Bond movie. He could have made tons of money playing a Bond villain, but instead, he made the choice to put a stop to the cycle of misrepresentation and profiling of Middle Eastern people in Hollywood.
The fact of the matter is that the choices we all make, no matter how big or small, feed into bigger pictures. So, whether our choice adds on to the injustice happening around the world, or is a step towards change for a better world, it’s all on us.
Of course, celebrities and people with fame and money have a bigger impact with their choices. But not everyone knows how to be responsible with it. Often, we, the people, are the ones who give them that support. Now, when will more celebs become vocal about Trump’s internment camps of immigrant children?
In this case, the “Anaconda” singer showed more moral backbone than the government that’s supposed to be representing Muslims and Islam, and that’s a damn shame.