Fresh off her "Roman Holiday" performance at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, Nicki Minaj comes under fire from Catholic League. The female rapper is slammed by the conservative religious organization for delivering a theatrical show that involves "a mock confessional skit" and "a mock exorcism."
"Perhaps the most vulgar part was the sexual statement that showed a scantily clad female dancer stretching backwards while an altar boy knelt between her legs in prayer," says the League's president Bill Donohue. "Finally, 'Come All Ye Faithful' was sung while a man posing as a bishop walked on stage; Minaj was shown levitating."
Donohue blames The Recording Academy for allowing the femcee to do such an act. He states, "None of this was by accident, and all of it was approved by The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammys. Whether Minaj is possessed is surely an open question, but what is not in doubt is the irresponsibility of The Recording Academy. Never would they allow an artist to insult Judaism or Islam."
He continues, "It's bad enough that Catholics have to fight for their rights vis-a-vis a hostile administration in Washington without also having to fend off attacks in the entertainment industry. The net effect, however, will only embolden Catholics, as well as their friends in other faith communities."
Minaj herself hasn't specifically responded to the protest, but she has explained the exorcism performance. In a recent interview with Ryan Seacrest on his radio show, she shared, "Well, [that religious character I walked the carpet with] is a major part of the story and the movie that I'm writing about one of my alter egos; his name is Roman."
"Basically, the religious figure is there because he was called on by Roman's mom [Martha] to rehabilitate him," the Young Money first lady said of the Pope-like figure she brought to the Staples Center and how he fits to the Roman Zolanski story. "I had this vision for Roman. I had this vision for him to be sort of exorcised."
"People around tell him he's not good enough because he's not normal. So his mother is scared and the people around him are afraid. He wanted to show that not only is he amazing, but he's never going to be exorcised, even when they throw holy water on him, he still rises above."
"The Grammys chose 'Roman Holiday.' They heard 'Roman Holiday' and I could not play them another record after that. I have to stay true to what I'm doing," she furthermore dished on. "Roman was created two years ago. I've been writing the story for a long time and yesterday was his coming-out party."
In addition to talking about the Grammy performance, Minaj also weighed in on M.I.A.'s middle finger gesture she flashed to the camera during the Super Bowl. "In hindsight, Madonna knows what kind of artist M.I.A. is and it was her decision to take that risk with all of us," she said.
"She [Madonna] has done some crazy things to become the icon that she is, and I think that's why she was able to forgive M.I.A.," she chimed in. "I couldn't see myself doing that. Just out of respect for Madonna, because I just wouldn't want any backlash coming back on Madonna."