Canberra — A senior Australian government official indicated Wednesday that rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, could be rejected a visa owing to antisemitic comments if he seeks to visit Australia. Education Minister Jason Clare was responding to media claims that the U.S. celebrity planned to visit the family of new Australian partner Bianca Censori in Melbourne next week.
Clare said he did not know if Ye had filed for a visa but that Australia has previously refused visas to people with hateful sentiments.
Rapper Kanye West, who is now known as Ye, arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in a February 9, 2020, file photo, in Beverly Hills, California. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
“I expect that if he does apply, he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions” as others who’ve voiced such views, Clare told Nine Network television.
Last month, Ye lauded Hitler in an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Twitter later suspended Ye after he tweeted a picture of a swastika fused with the Star of David.
Australia’s Migration Act specifies security and character conditions for non-citizens to enter the country. Any decision on whether Ye gets an Australian visa will be handled by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, whose office stated he could not comment on particular applications due to privacy reasons.
Peter Wertheim, co-chief executive officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, met government officials on Tuesday to urge for an admission ban.
“We had a sympathetic hearing,” Wertheim stated on Sky News. “We’ve made the case that this particular individual does not meet the character test and that it would be in the national interest not to grant him a visa and we set out our reasons in some detail.”
Opposition leader Peter Dutton said if he were in government, he would be likely to exclude Ye on character grounds.
“My inclination would be not to allow him in,” Dutton told Radio 3AW in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Dutton continued, “His antisemitic comments are disgraceful, his conduct and his behavior is appalling, and he’s not a person of good character,”
Next week, Ye and Censori plan to visit her relatives in the northeast Melbourne town of Ivanhoe, according to Seven Network News.
TMZ revealed two weeks ago that Ye and Censori were recently married, less than two months after he finalized his divorce from Kim Kardashian.
The Associated Press asked Ye’s representative if he had married Censori and if he planned to visit Melbourne, but received no immediate comment.