Nicki Minaj faces backlash over vaccine skepticism


@nickiminaj on Instagram

Mikayla Meachem, Contributor

Calling all Barbz, Nicki Minaj has some news, and I don’t think you’ll like it. The famous rapper has made it public that she has chosen not to get the coronavirus vaccine, and her stance has left her fans quite embarrassed.

It all began on Twitter, as most political and social matters do in 2021. A fan tweeted highlighting that Minaj has been missing from the public eye, recently skipping the 2021 VMA’s, and asked if she would be attending the Met Gala. Nicki replied that she did not want to risk her son’s health with the lack of nannies during the pandemic, so she opted to remain home.

With thousands of tweets from fans wanting more explanation and some beginning to share false information, Nicki quickly shared how she contracted the virus while preparing for the VMA’s. 

Nicki explained she wanted to do more vaccine research and wouldn’t be getting it simply to attend the Met Gala. 

Twitter users did not hold back, especially once Nicki began to share misinformation she heard from a relative regarding impotence.

Minaj wrote, “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married; now, the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied.” 

Only minutes later did she make her fans aware she would most likely get the vaccine since she will be touring, acknowledging many people have gotten the vaccine for work. 

Later that evening, she posted a poll on Twitter for people to vote for the vaccine they received and preferred. The replies were filled with stories of people sharing their reasons for getting vaccinated along with article recommendations to get educated on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.

Students at the University feel with the influence Nicki has over her fanbase, she should have expected the backlash over spreading false claims. Many believe she should have been honest about her doubts if she wanted more information. 

University junior Khris Persaud expressed that, “questioning should be normal, and no one should be made out to feel dumb or ridiculous for wanting to learn. Anyone with a large platform is going to be denounced in some way.”

University sophomore Darla Kessie stated that Nicki’s PR team needs to do better, explaining, “everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but Nicki has a huge fanbase, and many would rather listen to what she says rather than a doctor.” 

Kessie continued that the petty remarks and verbal attacks on Twitter didn’t help the situation explaining, “[people] were calling her out for seeming like an anti-vaxxer when in reality, she just needed research and would end up getting it.”

Nicki remained on Twitter sharing how quickly news articles were “talking down on her name” and accusing her of being an anti-vaxxer when she only shared her concerns. She voiced how the media loved to take a story and stretch the truth to ruin people’s images. 

MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid responded to her tweets on her show “The Reidout” expressing that with such a large platform that reaches so many black Americans, she should be using her platform to, “encourage our community to protect themselves and save their lives.” 

Minaj failed to realize spreading such misinformation is extremely harmful and results in more fear and opposition to the vaccine.

Nicki did not take Joy-Ann Reid’s comments too well, calling Joy-Ann Reid an “Uncle Tomiana.”

Trinidad and Tobago, Minaj’s home country, has also not appreciated the spread of misinformation. Dr. Terrence Deyalsingh, the head of Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Health, responded to her tweets apologizing to the public for the late response and explaining time was wasted “running down this false claim” and “there are no reported side effects or adverse events.” 

He goes on to explain the side effect’s her cousin experienced have not been reported in Trinidad nor anywhere else around the world. 

Nicki shared on Instagram that reporters were harassing her family in Trinidad because of her comments on Twitter.

Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to the situation and fears towards side effects comments stating, “There’s no evidence that it happens, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen.”

The White House has offered Minaj a phone call with doctors to provide her with more knowledge and answers to any questions she has. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki spoke on the matter, clearing up confusion on the invitation and expressing that anyone with a significant platform should project accuracy about the vaccine but recognizes, people have questions they want to be answered by doctors privately or publicly. 

Nicki took to Instagram Live to say she was invited to the White House and felt disrespected that White House officials would suggest that she would lie. Nicki said many artists feel the same as she does about the vaccine and are too scared to take a stance as she has. 

Rather than spreading misinformation on social media and planning all pink outfits for a White House visit, take the time to learn that the vaccines are proven safe and will protect you.