In what should come as zero surprise to anyone who watched Nicki Minaj attempt to reenact “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” during her performance at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, the Catholic League has issued a statement condemning the actions of the “Superbass” star.
As predicted by our own Maura Judkis, the faith-based organization whipped up an angry news release written by Catholic League president Bill Donohue as a response to Minaj’s rendition of her song “Roman Holiday.” Donohue mocked Minaj but primarily blamed the Recording Academy for allowing the number to air, a notable fact given that the executive producer of the Grammys and Minaj have told conflicting stories about how the performance got approved. More on that in a moment. First, the angry press release.
After describing Minaj as “fresh off looking like a fool with Madonna at the Super Bowl,” Donohue’s missive provides a somewhat accurate recap of the hip-hop freaktress’s performance.
“Minaj’s performance began on stage with a mock confessional skit,” he writes. “This was followed by a taped video depicting a mock exorcism. With stained glass in the background, she appeared on stage again with choir boys and monks dancing.”
Yep, there are the boys, monks and the stained glass.
He continues: “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. Finally, ‘Come All Ye Faithful’ was sung while a man posing as a bishop walked on stage; Minaj was shown levitating.”
As visual confirmation, here she is levitating.
Donohue then blames the Recording Academy for allowing this purportedly offensive stage show to proceed. “Whether Minaj is possessed is surely an open question, but what is not in doubt is the irresponsibility of The Recording Academy,” he says. “Never would they allow an artist to insult Judaism or Islam.”
While not everyone may have been offended by Minaj’s performance based on religious grounds, many have panned the number for being a musical trainwreck.
Ken Ehrlich, the aforemention executive producer of the Grammy telecast, doesn’t sound like a huge fan of what Minaj did, but noted during an interview Monday on “CBS This Morning” that he and his fellow Grammy organizers don’t like to limit the creativity of their artists.
“I looked at it and said, ‘Okay,’ ” he said of Minaj’s exorcism-related piece of performance art. “I knew about her alter ego. I was kind of aware of what that was. I definitely had some questions about it.”
Minaj, however, tells a different story.
“First of all, the Grammys chose ‘Roman Holiday,’ ” she said during an interview this morning on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show. “The Grammys came to the studio — the producers of the Grammys came to the studio — and they heard ‘Roman Holiday’ and I could not play them another record after they heard that. They went crazy ... so I could have chosen to do a no-brainer pop song, but I can’t do it anymore. I have to stay true to what I am doing.”
She also explained that the Roman alter ego is part of a movie she has been writing and developing for two years.
So far neither the Recording Academy nor Minaj has issued a response to the Catholic League’s open letter.