Petition to have BDO headliner barred from Oz

PETER VINCENT
Last updated 08:54 15/01/2014
Snoop Dogg
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'DEGRADING WOMEN': Snoop Dogg performs at the 2013 MTV EMA's in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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A Sydney woman behind an online petition to have Snoop Lion's (aka Snoop Dogg's) Australian visa revoked is the same woman who also attempted to have other controversial musicians, Tyler the Creator and Robin Thicke, thrown out of the country last year.

Talitha Stone, 24, an active campaigner on violence against women achieved her target of 2500 signatures on her latest petition, which was posted on change.org on a week before Christmas, this afternoon. She was due to phone federal immigration minister Scott Morrison's office to point that out.

Stone says she has been a target of violence herself and believes that Snoop Dogg's lyrics, public comments and lifestyle make the veteran gangsta rapper an unsuitable visitor to Australia because of the influence he will have on young men.

Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, is one of the three headliners for the touring Big Day Out festival, which begins this Friday in Auckland and visits the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide in the next fortnight.

"We put millions of dollars into campaigns against violence against women like White Ribbon and yet we roll out the red carpet for these people," Stone said. "One in three women are sexually assaulted ... and yet we give a platform to people who promote violence against women. It doesn't make any sense.

"He makes porn videos and brags that he has a bus behind him with 10 bitches on it and sells their bodies to athletes. He's a popular artist and people look up to him as a role model but he's promoting and encouraging these things. Why are we so lenient?"

Stone does not accept the argument that most of Snoop's lyrics are fictional - in the same way novelists or filmmakers include depictions of violence and criminal behaviour - and therefore shouldn't be taken seriously.

"Look at his criminal record, he's living this out."

Snoop does have a long rap sheet, mostly for drug offences, although he was charged but found not guilty of being an accomplice to murder in 1993 and named in an affidavit claiming the makers of a 2003 film gave underage girls drugs in exchange for removing their tops. In 2007 he was banned from entering Australia on character grounds but the decision was later reversed. He still cannot enter Norway because of a marijuana possession charge.

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Snoop was considered a gangsta rapper for the first phase of his career (although his lyrical content paled beside the more extreme examples such as N.W.A. or Hypnotize Minds), then claimed in a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone that he worked as a pimp in 2003 and 2004 but had given it up. He claims to have converted to the Rastafari movement after a trip to Jamaica in 2012 and adopted the alias Snoop Lion, apparently bestowed on him by reggae great Bunny Wailer.

Stone said she would like to prevent any author, filmmaker, musician or artist who "glamorizes violence" from entering Australia. "I wish I could take on everyone but I can't... I wish I could stop a lot of things happening."

But she believes musicians, because of their connection with young fans, should be held to even higher standards of behaviour than other artists.

"Young people walk around with their ears permanently attached to headphones."

Last June, Stone petitioned to have Tyler The Creator removed from Australia because of his misogynist lyrics, then attended one of his gigs "to gather more evidence" to support her campaign. She was abused on social media but also from the stage by Tyler himself.

His visa was not revoked but she claims Twitter instituted a 'report abuse now' option on its feed because of the diatribe she was subjected to. She was also involved in a petition to have Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke's visa revoked. Thicke was heavily criticised for the video to his hit song, which many believed was degrading to women.

A counter petition has been started imploring Scott Morrison to allow Snoop to visit Australia but so far had only two signatures.

Immigration minister Morrison was contacted this afternoon for comment but has not yet responded.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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