By Kevin Belanger,
International News Writer
Pop singer Chris Brown is booked to play four shows in Australia this winter. However, the fate of these shows is uncertain as the Australian government has yet to decide whether or not to grant the singer a visa.
According to BBC, Brown’s visa application received a “notice of intention to consider refusal,” on September 29th. Brown gained notoriety in 2009 when he was accused and convicted of assaulting his girlfriend at the time, Rihanna.
While Brown is no longer on probation and has completed his community service for the conviction, he is still vocally criticized by groups which advocate for stronger laws against domestic violence.
In Australia, the group GetUp produced a petition with over 15,000 signatures imploring Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to refuse Brown entry to Australia, CNN reports. Minister for Women Michaelia Cash stated that Brown should not be allowed to enter Australia because of his domestic violence convictions.
She further stated that by refusing to allow Brown to enter Australia, the government would send a message that domestic violence is unacceptable.
According to CNN, Brown has 28 days to make an appeal to be allowed into Australia. Brown has declared that he will appeal the decision, and tweeted that he believes that he can use his celebrity status to be an advocate against domestic violence by explaining his mistakes.
He further stated that kids don’t listen to Public Service Announcements and that he could gain a wider audience for his message of avoiding domestic violence. He also referenced the fact that he has completed his probation and required community service.
According to the Daily Mail, GetUp, the group which opposed Brown’s entrance to the country, actually issued a statement supporting Brown’s entrance to the country.
In a statement on September 30th, GetUp apologized for opposing the entrance of Brown while taking no action against white performers with a similar record of violence. According to the statement, “We now understand the campaign also supported a racist narrative that sees men of color unfairly targeted, and stereotyped as more violent than their white counterparts.”
In the past, Australia has been accused of refusing entry to black people for character reasons while granting entry to white people with similar character issues, the Daily Mail reports.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 6th print edition.
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