Chris Brown: It’s not OK.
The R&B star is about to create One Hell of a Nite-mare for the Government.
To perform in Auckland in December, the convicted woman beater needs a ‘special direction’ from Immigration New Zealand.
In the last five years, around 1,000 of these waiver requests were considered - with just over half approved.
It’s a bureaucratic decision – one meant to be free from political interference.
Officials must consider the seriousness and number of offences – and how long ago they occurred.
Should INZ grant him entry (as they did with Eminem, Ozzy Osborne and Tommy Lee), it will instantly give the Government an enormous headache.
In the last 18 months, National began a new push to scale back New Zealand’s horrifyingly high domestic abuse stats. Presently, police receive a complaint every five minutes.
As well as an overhaul of laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams wants us to change the way we see violence in the home and against women and children.
Brown's true attitude to women is evident in the enormous tattoo of a beaten woman inked on his neck- Andrea Vance on Chris Brown's mentality
It’s a national conversation that was ignited by the Roastbusters scandal.
Rape culture is everywhere. It’s in Chris Brown’s misogynist lyrics and overly sexualised videos.
It’s reflected in the vulgar tweets he fired off to US comedian Jenny Johnson, calling her a bushpig, worthless bitch; he threated to defecate in her mouth and eyes, following it up with the charming offer to “suck my d***, YOU HOE.”
Brown’s true attitude to violence against women is evident in the enormous tattoo of a beaten woman inked on his neck. The skin ‘art’ bears a striking resemblance to a photograph of his girlfriend Rihanna, just after he’d bit, punched, and throttled while screaming: “I’m going to kill you.”
Brown's message is one of insincerity - it's a bargaining chip and one that cannot be taken seriously- Andrea Vance on Brown's tactics
Only a few months ago, he brutishly referred to Caitlyn Jenner as “that science project Bruce Jenner.”
There are those – including former government minister Tariana Turia – who argue Brown has done his time. Come back to me with that argument when domestic abusers are punished justly. Brown served no jail time and repeatedly violated his probation.
In New Zealand, sentencing in family violence cases is inconsistent and often too lenient.
In the midst of the Brown furore, the media was celebrating the titillating revenge-violence theme of Lorde's new video- Andrea Vance
To bargain his case, Brown offered to “raise awareness” of domestic violence if he’s allowed into the country. Supporters claim his words carry weight with his younger fans.
But Brown’s message is one of insincerity. It’s a bargaining chip – and one that cannot be taken seriously while he continues to refer to women as bitches and hoes.
The gesture is cancelled out by his attitude, lack of genuine remorse and – frankly rapey – lyrics like: “I want your body/Let me get it from the back/girl, I’m about to attack.” Or “She’s more than a mistress/enough to handle my business/now put that girl in my kitchen.”
Much has been made of the double standards at play – because Brown is black. Other famous abusers may have been admitted to New Zealand in the past. If the country is serious about turning the tide of hatred and violence against women, this is not an argument for bending the rules for ‘Breezy’ Brown.
But another contradiction was missed. In the midst of the Brown furore, the media was celebrating the titillating revenge-violence theme of Lorde’s new video.
Playing a femme-fatale hitman, the singer relishes seducing a domestic abuser – tying him up, throwing him in a pool and setting him alight.
Pop culture defines acceptable social norms – and glorifying any aggressive behaviour in a relationship shows we are still a long way from dealing with the reality of New Zealand’s family abuse problem.