For Nicki Minaj, it's one thing to bash Melania Trump.
Some might say the singer was out of line for doing so, considering the real bigoted danger is Melania's husband, but Minaj didn't get into all that much trouble in October for referring to Trump as "brainless."
It's another thing, however, to make fun of a woman with legitimate mental issues.
And that appears to be what Minaj did in Miami this week.
The artist was filming a homeless woman on the sidewalk (for some reason) when the woman made some kind of remark about how she doesn't need Nicki's cellphone.
The woman then walked away, rambling to herself and very clearly seeming out of sorts.
But Minaj felt a need to call after her, saying on camera:
“What you said? Miss? Come here! What did I do? Can we talk?”
Nicki was laughing during this mostly one-sided exchange and included a laughing emoji as her caption when sharing the footage on Instagram.
You can see it here:
Commenters didn’t takevery kindly to the post, with many locals actually saying the woman being taunted by Minaj in the clip is mentally ill. For real.
"I live in south beach and i know every homeless [person] around. We have a loooot of those around and she has mental illness," wrote one follower.
“You talk about privilege when you don’t get an award you want, but then you use your wealth and fame to abuse this woman who’s less fortunate than you? Hypocritical.”
And yet another chimed in as follows:
“why was this necessary to be put up on social media? Not cool. You sit in your nice limo and roll your window down to make fun of the less fortunate. Mental illness is a real issue... Use your platform to encourage kindness.”
It's hard to argue with any of these points, isn't it?
Even if Nicki was unaware of the woman's mental state... why is she filming a random person on the street?
Why is she engaging with someone who isn't in a proper state of mind? Why is she laughing at her?!?
A rep for National Alliance of Mental Illness-Miami learned of this incident and contacted The New York Post.
It said via statement:
“Whether or not the woman in the video has a mental illness or other disability, Nicki Minaj’s unfortunate exchange with the elderly woman illustrates the importance for everyone to understand the nature of mental illness and its symptoms and the need for compassionate treatment.”
Added the organization:
One in five people in the United States will suffer from a mental illness at least once in their lifetime. That means anyone can be affected by it, even celebrities.
Celebrities should use their influence among young people in a positive manner to bring awareness to the real issues surrounding mental illness. Nobody would make fun of a cancer patient, and mental illness is an illness like any other.
Fortunately more and more celebrities are opening up about their struggles with mental health creating empathy among the public, and we hope these positive attitudes overshadow the mocking and stereotyping so common in our media.
All well said. And here's a look at celebrities who do actually suffer from a mental illness:
Minaj has not yet commented on the incident.
But it would be in her best interest to issue a simple apology, say that she was unaware of the woman's condition and then return to posting nip slip photos on social media instead.