NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – What was that?
That’s the reaction many might be having to Queens-native Nicki Minaj’s exorcism-infused performance of her new single “Roman Holiday” at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.
Perhaps we should’ve seen something strange coming when Minaj walked the red carpet in flowing red robes, looking like some sort of priestess.
The performance began with the rapper in a faux-confession setting, sitting divided from a priest, who ultimately clutches his hands around his ears.
“I feel pretty, and witty, I slay,” rapped Minaj.
The “priest” seems to be mouthing the word “stop” over and over again.
The performance then cut to a scene reminiscent of the classic horror flick “The Exorcist,” with Minaj cast as a person possessed.
What followed was a spectacle of robe-clad dancers, Minaj rapping while strapped to some kind restraining device.
Minaj is then shown kneeling at an altar, before a mock exorcism commences, with wires hoisting Minaj as a priest gesticulates nearby.
The Catholic League was not amused.
“Perhaps the most vulgar was the sexual statement that showed a scantily clad female dancer stretching backwards while an altar boy knelt between her legs in prayer,” said Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League.
“None of this was by accident, and all of it was approved The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammys. Wheter 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,” Donohue said
“It’s bad enough that Catholics have to fight for their rights vis-a-vis a hostile administration in Washington also having to fend off attacks in the entertainment industry,” said Donohue. Donohue was apparently referring to the recent fracas between Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan and President Barack Obama. The two clashed over a health care policy requiring religious-backed institutions to cover the costs of birth control for their employees.
Reaction to Minaj’s performance was swift on Twitter – much of it negative.
“Maybe you had to be there,” Tweeted comedienne Wendy Liebman.
“Suddenly, Lady Gaga seems really, really normal,” Tweeted People magazine staff writer Steve Helling.
Did you catch the performance? What did you make of it? Sound off in our comments section below.