An Australian Lawmaker Wants to Block R. Kelly From Performing in the Country

February 6, 2019, 7:19 PM UTC

An opposition Labor Party lawmaker is calling for R. Kelly to be blocked from performing in Australia following the R&B singer’s announcement of a new tour, citing the numerous allegations of sexual abuse against him.

“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, according to the Associated Press.

R. Kelly announced an international tour via his social media channels Tuesday, posting a now-deleted image of himself saying the “King of R&B” would be “coming soon” to Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. No venues or dates were given.

The musician has been in the news again lately for decades-old reports of alleged sexual abuse against women and girls. Although Kelly denies the accusations and has not be convicted of any crimes, a #MuteRKelly campaign began in 2017 to bring attention to the reports. Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify removed Kelly’s music from promoted playlists last year.

A Lifetime documentary titled “Surviving R. Kelly” detailed the alleged abuse and renewed social condemnation this past January. Kelly’s record label, Sony Music, ceased its relationship with him shortly thereafter.

Australia’s laws permit those of poor character to be barred from entry. In the past, Australia has blocked other notable figures for reasons like domestic violence or discriminatory politics, AP reports. This includes singer Chris Brown, classified document leaker Chelsea Manning, anti-vaxxer Kent Heckenlively, and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.