The twittersphere blew up today after infamous rapper Tyler the Creator announced that he was banned from Australia prefacing his September tour, however the Immigration Department of the the country has responded by saying the decision isn’t final and his application is still under review. The blame has been pinned on Coralie Alison, the head of the well-known feminist group ‘Collective Shout’, which began a petition to prevent the US rapper (real name Tyler Okonma) from entering Australia during his tour, leading to her receiving various mean-spirited messages.
In a letter to Minister Peter Dutton, the group pointed to the artist’s lyrics and past behaviour as reasoning for their petition, saying he promotes misogyny and homophobia.
“Tyler the Creator has received widespread media attention over the span of his career for misogynistic hate speech against women, as well as homophobia. He is renowned for his songs advocating rape and extreme violence against women, including murder, genital mutilation, stuffing them into car boots, trapping them in his basement, raping their corpses and burying their bodies.” said the message.
A spokesperson for the Department of Immigration made sure to note that Tyler has not yet been refused entry, however they are simply considering the potential risks involved, according to 9News.
“The Department can confirm that Mr Okonma has a current visa application with the Department, and that no decision has yet been made,” they said in a statement. The Australian Government supports freedom of speech. However, the exercise of this freedom involves a responsibility to avoid vilification of, inciting discord in, or representing a danger to, the Australian community.”
Despite the fact that it hasn’t even been settled yet, many of Tyler’s fans have already begun attacking Ms. Alison online. Over the course of the day, she has been re-tweeting violent tweets from Tyler supporters for the purpose of drawing attention to the community that surrounds the artist, as well as the backlash she has been personally receiving. Tweets range from posting her home address to death threats.
While I can’t speak for the depraved comments from the exceedingly-invested masses, I would like to note that a lot of Tyler’s persona is based in satirizing the rap industry and its typically overly-offensive lyrical content. Granted, this doesn’t excuse many of the things he has caught flak for in the past, and it’s very understandable to be cautious since he did incite a riot at last years SXSW show. Although many are calling Alison’s move excessive, illustrating that the petition may be more personal than the group is letting on.
What do you think, is Collective Shout going too far and impeaching on freedom of speech? Or has Tyler’s troublesome past warranted the potential ban from Australia?