Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard that rapper Kanye “Ye” West has been hitting rock bottom lately.
Last month, Ye, who is said to struggle with his mental health, confessed his admiration for Hitler and the Nazis during an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Twitter later suspended Ye after he tweeted a picture of a swastika merged with the Star of David.
Now, a senior Australian government minister has said that Ye could be refused a visa due to antisemitic comments if he attempts to visit Australia.
Education Minister Jason Clare was responding to media reports that the US celebrity intends to visit the family of new Australian partner Bianca Censori in Melbourne next week. They reportedly intend to visit her family who live in the northeast Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe.
Clare said he did not know if Ye had applied for a visa but that Australia has previously refused them to people with antisemitic views.
“I expect that if he does apply, he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions” (as others who've aired such views), Clare told Nine Network television.
Australia's Migration Act sets security and character requirements for non-citizens to enter the country. Any decision on whether Ye gets an Australian visa would be made by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, whose office said he could not comment on individual cases due to privacy reasons.
Australian media have been all over it:
Peter Wertheim, co-chief executive officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, met government officials on Tuesday (25 January) to argue for an entry ban.
“We’ve made the case that this particular individual 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,” stated Wertheim.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton said if he were in government, he would be inclined to bar Ye on character grounds.
“My inclination would be not to allow him in,” Dutton told Melbourne’s Radio 3AW. “His antisemitic comments are disgraceful, his conduct and his behavior is appalling, and he’s not a person of good character.”
Ye and Censori recently married less than two months after he finalized his divorce from Kim Kardashian, entertainment news website TMZ reported two weeks ago.
Ye’s representative has not yet commented on whether he had married Censori and plans to visit Melbourne.