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Nicki Minaj performance slammed by Catholic League

February 13, 2012 |  2:40 pm

Nicky Minaj at the Grammy Awards

Nicki Minaj and her religiously themed Grammy Awards performance didn't have many converts among the Catholic League on Monday: The organization slammed the singer-rapper for what it called an attack from the entertainment industry.

After arriving with a red carpet plus-one dressed like the pope, Minaj on Sunday unveiled her alter-ego character Roman Zolanski onstage in an extravagant production of the song "Roman Holiday."

The performance, backed by stained-glass windows, started in a mock confessional and later moved through various interpretations of demonic possession — think gyrations, crotch-grabbing, flames — before ending with the "Super Bass" singer's character levitating triumphantly over a vanquished priest and two altar boys.

"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," Catholic League President Bill Donohue noted in a statement on the group's website.

"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."

He closed with contact information for those wishing to lodge a complaint with the folks behind the Grammy Awards.

Minaj, meanwhile, reveled in the support of her Twitter fans Monday and offered a possible dismissal of her critics: "Were they offended by 'the devil inside'??? Shut-up & watch the movie ... !"

(On a loftier note, shortly after Whitney Houston's death hit the news Saturday, she'd tweeted, "Jesus Christ, not Whitney Houston. Greatest of all time.")

Whose side are you on?


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— Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Nicki Minaj performs at the 54th Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images.