Australian Politicians Call for R. Kelly to Be Banned from the Country After Singer Announced Tour
Australian lawmakers could ban R. Kelly from performing in the country.
On Tuesday, Kelly, 52, announced on Twitter and Instagram that he’ll be touring in Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
“See y’all soon,” Kelly captioned the tour announcement flyer, which dubbed him the “The King of R&B.”
His announcement was met with a significant amount of backlash following numerous sexual misconduct allegations against him. He has denied all allegations.
Australia’s opposition party has called for the government to ban the singer from coming to Australia by blocking any visa application.
“Labor strongly supports the refusal or cancellation of visas of non-citizens on character or criminal grounds,” the opposition party said in a statement to the BBC.
“If the Immigration Minister suspects that a non-citizen does not pass the character test, or there is a risk to the community while they are in Australia, he should use the powers he has under the Migration act to deny or cancel their visa,” senior opposition lawmaker Shayne Neumann said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press.
In the past, Australia has denied entry to celebrities and musicians with troubling pasts including singer Chris Brown and boxer Floyd Mayweather.
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Kelly has since deleted the tour announcement from all of his social media accounts but not before a number of Australians expressed their displeasure at his plans.
“Ok but like did anybody apart from R. Kelly want R. Kelly to tour Australia?” one user wrote on Twitter.
“Shouldn’t you be in jail? You for sure aren’t welcome here in Australia buddy?” another tweet read.
“R. Kelly has no business coming to Australia. For any reason. At all,” another user expressed.
A representative for the singer did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The news of Kelly’s potential tour comes just a month after the artist came under intense scrutiny in the wake of the Lifetime docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly, that features interviews with women who claim that for a decade Kelly used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse women and young girls.
A lawyer for Kelly has stated that the R&B singer strongly denies the string of sexual abuse allegations.
“The allegations aren’t true because he never knowingly had sex with an underage woman,” attorney Steve Greenberg said in an interview with the Associated Press. “He never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone.”
If you or someone you know think they are being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now for anonymous, confidential help, available 24/7.
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