New Nicki Minaj anti-bullying campaign sparks furious online backlash
Diesel has been criticised on social media for including Nicki Minaj in a new anti-bullying fashion campaign. The advert, which also features actress, Bella Thorne, and plus-size model, Barbie Ferreira, shows celebrities wearing clothes imprinted with abuse that they have received online.
The rapper wears a hoodie with the phrase, "the bad guy" on it, while Bella donned a T-shirt saying "slut". However, it was Minaj's appearance that incited the most vitriol as people took to social media to claim that they had been bullied by the pop-star online.
"Nicki Minaj literally instructs her fans to attack people online. How is she gonna be the face of anti cyber bullying," one Twitter user wrote, while another corroborated "@DIESEL y’all made a cyber bully the face of a campaign against cyber bullying. Nicki has sent her fans harass and beat up people, Nicki has entered peoples DM and insulted them. What is wrong with you?"
Writer, Wanna Thompson, added "You know how tone deaf you have to be as a brand to enlist Nicki Minaj to front a campaign to bring cyber-bullying to light? Who was behind this? Do they live under a rock?"
"@DIESEL is making a mockery out of cyber-bullying. There are countless organizations and individuals doing their best to combat the issue and instead of enlisting them you get Nicki Minaj? So irresponsible and counterproductive," she continued.
Thompson and pop culture commentator, Jerome Trammel, allege to have been bullied by Minaj. Trammel asserts that the rapper encouraged fans to "attack" him after he criticised her for "slut-shaming" in an interview with Elle.
Likewise, Thompson claims to have received abusive messages from the rapper, and states that Minaj later contacted her employer and got her fired from an internship as a music journalist.
Speaking to Newsbeat about the experience that she described as "heartbreaking", Thompson details initially thinking that the messages couldn't be from Minaj. "I was flabbergasted because I thought the page was fake," she said. "I kept on trying to refresh my twitter to see if it was a parody page. Maybe it was someone who copied everything about Nicki Minaj's profile and they're trying to get a rise out of me, but to my surprise, it was real."
Minaj has denied ever contacting the writer.
The fashion retailer has since responded to the backlash on Twitter, writing "We're here to support anyone who's getting hated on, and Nicki is one of them."
"Our enemy is hate, not haters," they added.
In an Instagram post promoting the advertisement, Minaj said that critics like to label her as "the bad guy". "You need people like me. So you can point your finger & say: THAT’S THE BAD GUY‼️ Got a surprise for anyone who’s ever been labeled #TheBadGuy," she wrote in the caption.
Another day, another controversy, eh?