U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday he is not "as familiar ... as I probably should be" with rap star Nicki Minaj, but seized on a question about her COVID-19 vaccine skepticism to reiterate that people should get the shot.
The controversy began Monday when Minaj said she was not comfortable getting the coronavirus vaccine, citing a story about her cousin's friend who got the vaccine and soon after “his testicles became swollen.”
When asked about Minaj’s controversy Tuesday, Johnson said he is not acquainted with the pop star.
“I’m not familiar with the works, or as familiar with the works of Nicki Minaj as I probably should be,” Johnson said, going on to name check "superstar" general practitioner Nikki Kanani, "who will tell you that vaccines are wonderful and everybody should get them."
Johnson said he prefers to listen to other stars who promote the coronavirus vaccine.
Minaj responded on Twitter to a video of Johnson's comments. “I love him even tho I guess this was a diss? The accent ugh! Yassss boo!!!” Minaj wrote.
I love him even tho I guess this was a diss? The accent ugh! Yassss boo!!!— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 14, 2021
She later posted audio of her speaking with a fake British accent, along with a caption saying “send this to the prime minister & let him know they lied on me. I forgive him. No one else. Only him.”
In the video, Minaj said Johnson was “so amazing on the news this morning” and claimed to be a British citizen who went to Oxford University and studied with Margret Thatcher.
“She told me so many nice things about you,” Minaj said in the video. “I’d love to send you my portfolio of my work since you don’t know much about me. I’m a big big star in the United States.”
send this to the prime minister & let him know they lied on me. I forgive him. No one else. Only him. pic.twitter.com/ZmJ2sST8Es— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 14, 2021