Activist Group Backs Off On Chris Brown

In an unexpected turnaround, activist group GetUp! pulled its campaign to stop Chris Brown from being issued an Australian visa for his December tour.

Photo: Owen Sweeney / Invision / AP
Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, N.J.

The campaign’s online petition drew close to 15,000 signatures and the government gave Brown notice it would not issue a visa for “character” reasons. The singer had a month to appeal and reportedly has hired lawyers in Sydney to fight his case. He has taken to Twitter to say he would be “more than grateful to come to Australia to raise awareness about domestic violence.”

GetUp! said racist elements had entered the campaign. The group’s national director, Paul Oosting, told Fairfax Media, “We chose to get involved in this campaign because Chris Brown is a massive celebrity and we wanted to put a spotlight on the issue of domestic violence.”

But some of its members were alarmed that the campaign had racial aspects. Oosting said, “We have a migration system that unfairly targets people of colour and this is a system that we inadvertently fed into. We caused angst and grief and we are unreservedly apologising for that.”