New York, NY – Nicki Minaj was the musical guest for the season finale of Saturday Night Live on Saturday (May 19).
During her performance, the Queens superstar did a live rendition of “Chun-Li” while wearing traditional Japanese garb.
Minaj, whose performance comes ahead of her forthcoming album Queen, also wore chopsticks in her hair, had several Asian backup dancers and used an Asian-style pavilion as part of the backdrop.
After the show aired, Twitter exploded with tweets accusing Minaj of cultural appropriation. Many people questioned why a white Utah teenager was recently accused of cultural appropriation for attending her high school senior prom in a Chinese-themed dress while Minaj seemed to get a pass.
— Jade (@JadeskiFL) May 20, 2018
Last September, Minaj spoke out against the cultural appropriation in the fashion industry while performing at Philipp Plein Spring/Summer ’18 runway show during New York Fashion Week.
“Thank you for including our culture,” she said. “Designers get really big, really rich off of our culture, and then you don’t see a motherfucker that look anything like us in the front row half the time.”
Nonetheless, multiple Twitter users were outraged Minaj wasn’t held accountable for Saturday’s appearance on SNL.
Check out the reactions below.
— Terri Sulman (@terrisulman) May 20, 2018
— The Lil Report (@thelilreport) May 20, 2018
How can a Caucasian 18 year old girl gets ridiculed for “cultural appropriation” for wearing a beautiful Asian inspired gown, but Nicki Minaj performs and raps in complete Asian theme with “Chun Li” on SNL & it’s cool? PS, I like the song & both women are fine.
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) May 20, 2018
What’s the most current, politically correct version of the Byzantine rules on cultural appropriation?
Nicki Minaj doing faux Japanese stuff on SNL must fall into some exemption. ??? pic.twitter.com/BSCbwPyOoX
— William Gerber (@WilliamGerber1) May 20, 2018
Ok but… Was Nicki Minaj's performance not cultural appropriation?… ? #NickiOnSNL
— Missy Misfire (@MissyMisfire) May 20, 2018
Watching this performance, I just want to point out the hypocrisy of the “cultural appropriation warriors” remaining silent on Nicki Minaj, but went after that high school girl who went to prom. #ChunLi #SNL #SNLFinale
— #SaveLucifer | #PickUpLucifer (@harasnicole) May 20, 2018
So is no one going to call out @NICKIMINAJ for cultural appropriation? Last time I checked she wasn't from any part of Asia…
— Stuck (@StuckInDenial) May 20, 2018
why is no one talking about nicki minaj’s blatant cultural appropriation???
— janae (@official_janaee) May 20, 2018
What in the fuck was that? @SNL @NICKIMINAJ Didn’t think it would be any worse with the song but now with the outfits? Don’t even say that’s not cultural appropriation bc you know damn well it is. Are you that desperate for attention?
— Elaine Kwong (@ESQUEEZY) May 20, 2018
1) it was garbage
2) cultural appropriation
3) it doesn’t take talent to lip sync
— Thomas McCallum (@thomas_mccalum) May 20, 2018
— +++ Mountain Man ++ + (@ImAFun1) May 20, 2018
Seriously tho, why is Nicki Minaj’s Chun Li not cultural appropriation?
— Yukiko (@orpheusheart7) May 12, 2018