tyler, the creator responds to uk ban
Having cancelled his Australian tour amidst a feminist campaign to have his visa application rejected, Tyler, the Creator was at the UK border attempting to enter the country for a string of shows last week when he was told that he was banned for the next three to five years.
After a series of tweets to announce the cancellation of his UK and Ireland shows, Tyler has revealed further information about the Home Office's decision and has spoken out against their stance, which he describes as morally wrong. Tyler revealed to The Guardian that government papers served to him use lyrics from VCR, Blow, Sarah, Tron Cat and French as evidence of "behaviors unacceptable in the UK" - content that will get you banned under 2005 guidelines drawn up to prevent terrorism.
"The home secretary has considered whether, in light of this list, you should be excluded from the UK on the grounds that your presence here would not be conducive to the public good," papers revealed to The Guardian state. "The home secretary has reached this decision because you have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behavior by making statements that may foster hatred, which might lead to intercommunity violence in the UK," it continues.
"Monday was one of the shittiest days I've ever had," Tyler tells The Guardian. "I was in a detention room; I felt like a criminal. And then [a Border Force officer] showed me lyrics from songs … literally, a paper with five lines of lyrics, and four were from Bastard songs and one was from Tron Cat. I never perform those songs. Thirty minutes later, the guy comes in, he gives me a paper, and he says: 'OK, they're not letting you in the country.' The paper said I couldn't come at all, saying that I support homophobia and acts of terrorism, and [it said] some other stuff," Tyler explains. "I'm just like, one, none of that is true, and two, I was here seven weeks ago. I rented out a movie theater for a show. I did something really awesome, and it was no problem," he adds.
Tyler brands the UK government as "Followers" for banning him in the wake of controversy in Australia. "When the Australia thing happened, I was like, 'Wow, OK,'" Tyler says, "Then the UK thing happened, and it's like: 'OK, this is not funny any more - this is actually wrong, from a moral standpoint. Now [threats against] freedom of art and speech are at hand. And because of this, it's opening a door for anyone to be banned."
The papers from the government state that the decision was in part to do with Tyler adopting "a mentally unstable alter ego who describes violent physical abuse, rape and murder in graphic terms which appears to glamorize this behavior." Tyler understandably draws connections with authors writing from similar viewpoints, who are allowed to tour their books in the UK. "Why don't they ban authors? Writers who write these mystery books about people getting raped and sabotaged and murdered and brainwashed - why don't they ban them? There are rallies of neo-Nazis in parts of England. And then you're telling me I can't come there because of some bullshit song, but you got motherfuckers with swastikas rallying down the street actually promoting hate?"