Chris Brown has been denied entry into Australia on grounds of character. The 26-year-old rapper was denied entry as a result of his 2009 assault on superstar and then-partner Rihanna. Brown was due to perform in a series of concerts in December, but the Australian Department of Immigration formally refused his visa application on Friday night. According to standard immigration procedures, Brown has 28 days in which to appeal the decision and explain why he should be allowed into the country. According to SBS News, Brown might be able to repeat claims he made to being reformed after attending a domestic violence program and serving 180 days of community labor.
[Getty Images/Chelsea Lauren][/caption]This is not the first time Chris Brown has performed in Australia since the assault, but that was under a different government and in a different political climate. The Immigration Minister of Australia has very broad powers when it comes to visa applications, and every application is, in theory, approved or disapproved by the Minister. In this case, it seems that Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has personally intervened in order to prevent Brown’s application from being approved. This intervention coincides with a national campaign against domestic violence which is receiving prominent press coverage in Australia right now. While refusing to speak on Brown’s case in particular, Mr. Dutton made comments to the Daily Telegraph which seemed to imply that his refusal was directly linked to the past assault on Rihanna.
“Speaking in general terms I personally find domestic violence abhorrent. As a society we must be aware of the great harm that domestic violence causes to women, families and our community.”
Added to the current prominence of anti-domestic violence feelings in Australia at the moment is the fact that Minister Dutton is an ex-police officer and arch-conservative politician. It is unlikely that any aspect of Chris Brown’s character, image or output, would appeal to Mr Dutton.
The Telegraph seemed to catch the mood of the nation by reporting, in lurid and disapproving detail, an account of Chris Brown’s beating of Rihanna following an incident involving a mobile phone. Ever since 2009, Brown’s reputation in Australia has never fully recovered. Activist organization Getup Australia, upon hearing that Brown was coming, started a petition to stop the rapper’s tour. The petition is highly critical of domestic violence in general and Chris Brown in particular.
“If we stand by and do nothing while he performs around the country… we are implicitly sending the message that if you brutally beat a woman, in a short amount of time you will be forgiven, or even celebrated.”
[Getty Images/Theo Wargo][/caption]Tickets to Chris Brown’s concerts were scheduled to go on sale tomorrow, and it is unclear what will happen now that his visa application has been turned down.
This is not the first time that Australian authorities have refused access to prominent performers and speaker. Snoop Dogg, inflammatory politician Geert Wilders, and Floyd Mayweather have all been refused entry into Australia in the past on the grounds of character.
[Picture via Getty Images/Mario Anzuoni]