Two months after getting stuck in the Philippines from a contract dispute, singer Chris Brown is now facing the possibility of being refused entry to Australia because of his domestic violence record. The R&B artist has four Australian shows planned for December, but due to his charges in 2009 of assaulting his then girlfriend and fellow performer Rihanna, activists have been asking their government to deny him a visa.
Australian Minister for Women Michaelia Cash confirmed on Thursday that the country’s immigration minister “will be looking at this very, very seriously”.
“I’m clearly not going to preempt a decision by the minister, however I can assure you what my strong recommendation would be,” said Cash, mentioning that in her previous job as assistant minister for immigration she had prevented the boxing champion Floyd Mayweather from coming into the country because of his history of domestic violence.
“People need to understand — if you are going to commit domestic violence and then you want to travel around the world, there are going to be countries that say to you, ‘You cannot come in because you are not of the character that we expect in Australia,'” she told reporters at a news conference.
The community advocacy group GetUp! also put forward an online petition which encourages the Australian government to refuse Brown a visa, accumulating over 10,000 signatures so far.
“Speaking out against Chris Brown has nothing to do with pop music, and everything to do with men’s violence against women,” the petition page reads.
This isn’t the first time the singer’s shaky past has given him trouble with immigration officials. In 2010, the United Kingdom halted him from performing there, saying they were cornered he may present danger to their citizens. His show in Canada was also cancelled in February this year after he was denied entry at the border, presumably for the same line of reasons. And his upcoming show in Australia’s neighbour New Zealand may end up being cancelled as well, as immigration law there prohibits visas from being given to anyone who has been banned from another country, reported TVNZ last week. Brown will need to get special authorization to enter New Zealand, however considering that rapper Tyler the Creator was banned from NZ last year for his lyrics, I would say this outcome is not likely.