As predicted, Catholic League President Bill Donohue has condemned rapper Nicki Minaj for her performance at the Grammys on Sunday, in which characters playing Catholic priests tried to exorcise Minaj’s gay alter ego, Roman. Donohue said in a statement:
Minaj’s performance began on stage with a mock confessional skit. 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. 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. 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.
Notably, Donohue has nothing to say about the real travesty of the night, the fact that the Recording Academy invited back Chris Brown, who infamously battered his then-girlfriend, the singer Rihanna, on his way to a Grammys party, to perform not once, but twice at this year’s awards ceremony. At least Donohue’s making it clear that Catholic imagery, not Catholic teaching, is his priority.