The American rap artist asked fans to give their opinions on her Instagram account
Saudi fans have taken to social media to voice their anger at US entertainer Nicki Minaj’s decision to cancel a scheduled performance in Jeddah next week.
In a statement on Tuesday, Minaj said that “after careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest.”
Later the same day, Minaj posted a message on her Instagram account inviting her Saudi fans to voice their opinions, noting that she wanted to “respond directly.”
Within 10 hours, the post had amassed over 38,000 comments.
Many Saudi-based fans responded with criticism and disappointment.
“Please don’t let us down,” wrote user Faisal_Vevo. “11,000 tickets were bought in only hour. Please, we want you here.”
Others responded by defending Saudi Arabia’s record on women’s rights and referring to social places that have taken place in the kingdom in recent years.
“Saudi is working on changing laws for women and making things better an easier for them,” said Instagram user Bryannadadoll. “This is just the beginning and you doing the concert is as big as ever and spreading awareness and showing a movement in perceptions in Saudi Arabia. Please perform.”
Similarly, user Abdulaaf wrote that “you cancelling your performance will change nothing.”
“What you can do is push boundaries and raise the bar for women in Saudi by headlining the festival and giving your Saudi fans a chance to see you perform,” he added.
Others accused Minaj of being insensitive to cultural norms in the kingdom.
“Saudi women are none of your business,” wrote user ard138. “Do not interfere in our internal affairs. Do not forget you are just a singer.”
Event organisers have offered refunds to fans who bought tickets for the event, but added more artists will be announced this week.
"Unfortunately Nicki Minaj has cancelled her live performance at Jeddah World Fest on July 18th due to personal reasons. Ticket refunds will be offered if desired. Please note the second wave of performers will be announced this week," Jeddah World Fest posted on its social media channels.