Well, that’s an interesting spin on it.
American singer Chris Brown, 26, has had his visa denied by the Australian government due to his history of domestic violence, but he’s not ready to give up on his Australia and New Zealand tour.
Brown has responded to his visa ban, claiming that his visit will help educate young people about domestic violence.
“I would be more than grateful to come to Australia to raise awareness about domestic violence.Im [sic] not the pink elephant in the room anymore,” Brown tweeted on Tuesday.
(What’s a pink elephant? I’ve heard of a white elephant, but pink…? I digress.)
The RnB singer was convicted of assault for punching and strangling his then-girlfriend singer Rihanna and threatening to kill her, and sentenced to five years’ probation.
“My life mistakes should be a wake up call for everyone. Showing the world that mistakes don’t define you. Trying to prevent spousal abuse,” Brown continued.
“The youth don’t listen to parents nor do they listen to PSA’s. The power that we have as entertainers can change lives.”
Brown’s visa ban came after campaigns by GetUp and Collective Shout which urged the government to deny him entry on the basis of his “substantial criminal record”. Activists defaced his tour posters with stickers that read, “I hit women”.
“Allowing his entry into Australia sends the message that the Turnbull government does not place significant weight and condemnation on men’s violence against women,” reads the GetUp petition.
Rappers Snoop Dogg and Tyler the Creator have also had visas denied recently for misogynistic lyrics and/or domestic violence histories.
It’s been pointed out that Collective Shout seems to have targeted entertainers in the RnB and rap fields (read: black). Death metal bands with horrific misogynistic lyrics regularly tour the country without difficulty, and it’s hard to imagine such an outcry if a known abuser like Sean Penn were to come here to promote a film.
It’s easy to denounce a musician for sending the wrong message, but it’s more important to understand that our domestic violence is homegrown, it comes from Australian culture, and “sending messages” by banning people like Brown does little to address the real issue.
It’s hardly necessary for a man with a criminal past of domestic violence from America to come here to raise awareness about violence against women.
This year alone in Australia 63 women are dead because of it.
Brown now has 28 days to appeal against the visa denial.