Nicki Minaj’s performance of “Roman Holiday” at the Grammys has come under harsh criticism from the Catholic League, which took issue with an extravagant production featuring overt Catholic iconography and a dramatization of an exorcism. The rapper arrived at the event wearing a red Versace nun’s habit, accompanied by an older white man dressed as the Pope. Catholic League president Bill Donohue condemned Minaj’s performance as tasteless and disrespectful to the Catholic Church.
“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,” Donohue wrote in a statement on the group’s website. “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.”
The Catholic League routinely condemns artist who draw on Catholic imagery in sexually provocative art. Last year, the group blasted Lady Gaga for her controversial music video for “Judas.”