Chris Brown‘s upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand has officially been canceled after immigration authorities in Australia declined to grant the singer a visa. The promoters of Brown’s five-day tour confirmed the cancellation in a statement that read, “Mr. Brown and the promoters both remain positive that the tour will take place in the near future. Mr. Brown wishes to express his deepest gratitude to the fans for their support.”
Brown’s Australian tour had been in jeopardy since September, when immigration officials told the singer that they planned to issue a “notice of intention to consider refusal” stemming from Brown’s 2009 assault on Rihanna. Although Australia allowed Brown to bring his F.A.M.E. Tour to the country in April 2011, Australian feminist groups, alongside former Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash, called his visa status into question prior to the December 2015 dates.
“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,'” Cash, now Australia’s Minister for Women, said recently, ABC News reports.
When it was announced that Australian immigration officials were reviewing Brown’s visa, the singer’s rep released a statement saying Brown had “faith that a decision will be made with the full consideration of his continued personal growth, ongoing philanthropic endeavors and desire to perform for his fans.” Brown’s New Zealand visa was also under examination, but after Australia denied his entry, Brown withdrew his New Zealand application before immigration officials there made a ruling on his status.
This isn’t the first time Australia and New Zealand have shut their borders to an artist. In February 2014, New Zealand banned Odd Future from performing, citing the rap group as “a potential threat to public order and the public interest for several reasons, including incidents at past performances in which they have incited violence.”
Tyler, the Creator’s often misogynistic lyrics also came under fire from Australian feminist group Collective Shout and Alex Hawke, a conservative member of the Australian House of Representatives, both of whom called for the rapper’s visa to be revoked in 2013.