As we reported yesterday, Tyler The Creator has been banned from the UK for 3 – 5 years. UK officials have cited lyrics from his first two releases Bastard and Goblin as justification for excluding him as his “presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good”.
According to a spokesperson for the UK Home Office, as reported by Pitchfork, the lyrics from 6 – 7 years ago are cited as evidence that his music “encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality” and “fosters hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts.”
In light of their view of his music, the UK Home Office feels they are within their powers to deny Tyler a visa as “coming to the UK is a privilege, and we expect those who come here to respect our shared values,” the spokesperson said.
Tyler and his manager have responded via Twitter and Tumblr to the ban, which resulted in him having to cancel tour dates across the UK and Ireland including an appearance at Reading and Leeds Festival.
It’s been a tough couple of months for Tyler, who was also recently forced to cancel an Australian tour after Australian activist group Collective Shout Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to ban Tyler The Creator from entering Australia, citing the same content in his old lyrics.
Collective Shout however have been criticised by some for their campaigns against on Tyler, as well as fellow rapper Snoop Dogg, as the group have yet to denounce any Caucasian artists for their misogyny.
The UK’s decision has also been called into question, as Tyler himself pointed out he was there eight weeks ago and has toured there numerous times since the release of the songs cited. There are also concerns the move sets a precedent for policing expression and excluding voices the UK Government sees as unsavoury.
However, Collective Shout Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper recently rejected the argument that Tyler’s lyrics should be classified as “art” and not read literally.
“It’s art that is exploitative and degrading to women,” she told triple j’s Hack. “It’s at the expense of women and survivors of rape and violence. It’s art that’s designed to generate profits for Tyler, The Creator and record companies.
“The content doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it exists in a society where women are victims of rape and sexual violence and discrimination and we have to consider that.”