Pop Culture

Chris Brown Was Just Banned From Australia: Here's Why It's Kinda Racist

Sean Penn can go anywhere he likes. 

Chris Brown was just banned from Australia - sort of. CB had plans to tour down under, but those plans were derailed when the Australian government informed him that they're planning to deny his visa.

The cause? His (pretty public) history of domestic violence. Following the decision, Chris Brown and his lawyer now have 28 days to plead their case and explain why he should be allowed to enter the country.

Despite this setback, Chris doesn't seem to have any plans to cancel his tour. Tickets for the Australian shows went on sale today, as planned, and Chris even posted on Facebook (before later deleting it), "Don't listen [to] the bulls**t. I'm coming."

While this may seem like a win against the normalization of domestic violence, it isn't quite that simple. Why Chris Brown, and why now?

CB is not the only celebrity with a history of domestic violence. Some well-known examples? Michael Fassbender. Sean Penn. Sean Connery. Emma Roberts.

So why isn't anyone protesting when Sean Penn vacations in Mexico or when Michael Fassbender walks the red carpets at the Golden Globes?

No doubt, the visibility of CB's actions (namely, the disturbing photos of a bruised and battered Rihanna) factored into the public backlash. It's possible to ignore a headline - less so, graphic photos that were published by just about every major news outlet.

There's also the fact that the woman he abused is so well-known. But then, Sean Penn hit his then-wife Madonna over the head with a baseball bat, and yet there aren't any headlines about Penn's visa getting denied when he goes overseas.

This isn't the first time Australia has been kind of shady about who is and is not allowed to visit. Earlier this year, Tyler the Creator was banned from Australia due to his offensive lyrics. Guess who was allowed entry into the country during a tour the year before? Eminem, the guy who made a name for himself rapping about murdering and raping his own mother. After a while, this kind of thing stops being a coincidence and starts being yet another example of how black men are punished for their transgressions much more harshly than white men, whether it's in an actual court of law or just in the court of public opinion.

This is in no way a defense of Chris Brown, whose actions were inexcusable. And it should also be noted that Australia recently launched a very visible anti-domestic violence campaign, so welcoming someone into the country whose abuse is so well-known wouldn't exactly be a good look for them. By all means, ban Chris Brown from the country - just make sure you don't stop there.

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