Controversial singer Chris Brown could face yet more tour trouble in the Asia-Pacific region — and he hasn’t even arrived there yet.
Two months after getting temporarily stuck in the Philippines amid a contract dispute, the R&B artist now appears in danger of being refused entry by Australia over his domestic violence record.
Brown, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to assaulting Rihanna, his pop star girlfriend at the time, has four big Australian shows scheduled for December. But activists have been calling on the government to deny him a visa.
Australian Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said Thursday that 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,” Cash said after mentioning she had in her previous job as assistant minister for immigration prevented an unidentified sportsman from coming to Australia because of his domestic violence record.
Australian media identified the sportsman in question as Floyd Mayweather, the boxing champion who has pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges at least three separate times.
Online petition against Brown
“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.
Cash was speaking alongside Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a news conference at which they announced a series of measures to try to tackle the problem of domestic violence in Australia.
The community advocacy group GetUp! has launched an online petition urging the Australian government to refuse Brown a visa that has so far received more than 10,000 signatures.
“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 says.
Barred from entering UK, Canada
It’s not the first time Brown’s record has drawn scrutiny from immigration officials.
In 2010, the United Kingdom blocked his plans to perform there, citing concerns he could pose a danger to its citizens. And in February of this year, he canceled shows in Canada after being denied entry at the border.
Brown could also face difficulties getting into Australia’s neighbor New Zealand to play a concert planned for December.
Immigration law there prevents visas from being granted to anyone who has been excluded from another country, CNN affiliate TVNZ reported last week. The singer will need to obtain a special authorization to enter New Zealand, the broadcaster said.
Brown was put on probation for five years in 2009 after pleading guilty to one count of felony assault over the attack on Rihanna. He was jailed for almost three months in 2014 after violating his probation.