Activists have appealed to singer Mariah Carey to cancel an upcoming performance in Saudi Arabia over the jailing of women’s rights advocates. The American songwriter is set to appear at a concert on Thursday on the sidelines of the kingdom’s first international golf tournament, alongside Dutch DJ Tiesto and Jamaican rapper Sean Paul.
Carey would be the most famous Western female singer to perform in the country. Since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman introduced reforms. He loosened his grip on the entertainment industry. Some are heralding the event as another milestone in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s liberalization agenda. It has included loosening restrictions on the entertainment industry. Carey would be the highest profile, Western female singer to perform in the Kingdom, according to Bloomberg.
But others see the performance as a further indication of a troubling paradox undergirding the prince’s reforms. Even as the self-styled modernizer invites famous westerners like Carey to headline shows, his government continues to detain women’s rights activists who had campaigned for the right to drive and perpetuates a male guardianship system that treats women as legal dependents.