Pressure has grown to deny the musician an entry visa if he tries to visit Australia because of his anti-Semitic comments.
An Australian government minister has said that the famous rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, could be refused a visa to visit Australia because of anti-Semitic comments.
Australian Education Minister Jason Clare responded on Wednesday to media reports that the American celebrity plans to visit the family of his new Australian partner Bianca Censori in Melbourne next week.
Clare said he did not know if Ye had applied for a visa, but that Australia had previously refused entry to people with anti-Semitic views.
“I don’t know if he’s applied for a visa yet, but Google it and you’ll see that he seems to be a pretty big fan of the person who killed six million Jews last century,” Clare told the Today show on Australia’s Nine Network television.
“Such people who have applied for visas to enter Australia in the past have been refused. I expect that if he applies, he will have to go through the same process and answer the same questions as them.”
I was asked about Kanye on Today 👇 pic.twitter.com/3GEPhdv6Sb
— Jason Clare MP (@JasonClareMP) January 24, 2023
A spokesman for Yea did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Seven Network News reported that Ye and Censori intend to visit her family, who live in the northeastern Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe, next week.
Last month, Ye praised Hitler in an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Twitter suspended Ye after he tweeted a picture of a swastika combined with a Star of David. Ye has also been dropped by major corporate partners, including Adidas, over his comments.
Australia’s Migration Act sets out security and character requirements for non-citizens to enter the country. Any decisions on whether Ye will get an Australian visa will be made by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, whose office said it could not comment on individual cases for privacy reasons.
Australia has previously refused or canceled visas to far-right extremists for failing a “good character” test. British conspiracy theorist David Icke had his visa revoked in 2019, just before the start of his speaking tour.
Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys, an all-male group that identifies as “Western chauvinists,” was denied a visa in 2018 after a public campaign that included a petition with 81,000 signatures, according to local media.
Australian Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said if he were in government he would be inclined to ban Yea on character grounds.
“My preference would be not to let him in,” Dutton told Melbourne’s Radio 3AW on Tuesday.
“His conduct and behavior is appalling and he is not a person of good character,” Dutton said.
The Liberal Party’s David Coleman said on Wednesday that the decision to deny Ye a visa should be “easy”.
There is no way Kanye West will adopt the character provisions of the Migration Act. Easy decision for @andrewjgiles if he applies for a visa.
— David Coleman MP (@DavidColemanMP) January 25, 2023
Peter Wertheim, co-chief executive of the Executive Council of Australian Jews, met with government officials on Tuesday to advocate for Ye’s ban.
“We had a sympathetic hearing,” Wertheim said on Sky News.
“We put forward the case that this particular person does not meet the character test and that it would be in the national interest not to grant him a visa and we set out our reasons in some detail.”