Most Australians do not want convicted domestic abuser Chris Brown to enter the country, according to politicians, social media and a media poll.
Following a Getup! petition urging Federal Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to refuse the American R’n’B artist a visa, the general public have taken to social media to voice their opinions. The majority claiming he should not be permitted entry.
Getup! is arguing that Brown – who is due to tour four Australian states in December – should be ineligible for a visa due to his conviction for assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, which allegedly breaches Australia’s visa character test.
“The character test states a person is ineligible for an Australian visa if they have a ‘substantive criminal record’,” a Getup! statement said.
The statement encouraged the Australian community to speak out about violence against women and to “not remain silent while a convicted felon is allowed to profiteer from touring our country”.
New Minister for Women Michaelia Cash supported the idea at yesterday’s announcement for the Federal Government’s $100 million domestic violence initiative, saying people with domestic abuse convictions should not expect to travel to other countries.
“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 we expect in Australia’,” Ms Cash said.
The minister said Brown’s visa was an issue that Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was looking at “very, very closely”.
Shadow Minister for Women Claire Moore told The Newsroom the visa issue was a matter for the Immigration Department to decide but added that domestic abuse was something that should not be taken lightly.
“I think what has to be seen is that it (domestic violence) is criminal … in no way is it a lesser crime than public violence,” she said.
“It’s just so often behind closed doors.”
A poll hosted by Channel 9 on its website on Thursday asked the public whether they thought Brown should or shouldn’t be permitted into the country. Of 15,000 participants 73 per cent answered “no”.
This view was reiterated on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Manly resident Grant Lewers said not allowing Brown into the country would be an action with a valuable message.
“He should not be allowed into the country. We need to stand against violence against women. This sends a very clear message that it’s not okay and has consequences,” Mr Lewers posted on Facebook.
A number of posters in Melbourne advertising the tour have also been defaced, with stickers saying “I beat women”.
Despite the controversy, Brown’s pre-sale tickets sold out within two minutes and his manager Mike G said he was ready to perform.
“The good people of Australia want to see Chris Brown perform,” Mike G wrote in an email to Time Magazine.
“We are blessed and grateful for this wonderful opportunity to give them the best show possible.” — Sophia Rambaldini
Absolutely agree that denying Chris Brown a visa is best way to tell world we are serious about domestic violence: http://t.co/X37ClzX7aV
— Stephen Mayne (@MayneReport) September 24, 2015
— Wil Anderson (@Wil_Anderson) September 23, 2015
Whoever is doing this to the Chris Brown posters in Melbourne is a champion! Nice work! pic.twitter.com/P7ueyDVWxs
— Stephanie McCarthy (@tallpunksteph) September 22, 2015
Top picture from Stephanie McCarthy‘s Twitter feed.