Australian officials are considering an entertainment visa application from rapper Eminem, Reuters reports. Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said Australia is considering whether to grant the visa and is taking into consideration Eminem's history of gun-related charges. The rapper is currently on probation for three gun-related charges related to two separate incidents. Prime Minister John Howard said that while the decision to grant the visa is not his to make, he finds Eminem's lyrics sickening and offensive. Tickets for two concerts in Australia have already gone on sale. The Grammy award-winner is scheduled to play in Melbourne on July 26 and Sydney on July 27.
Lawmaker Pete Slipper, a member of Prime Minister John Howard's Liberal Party, has asked the Australian government to ban rap artist Eminem from performing in later this month in the country.
Slipper said he believes in freedom of speech, but that Eminem's homophobic and violent lyrics go too far. "There is no way the Australian government should allow those who pray on the disenchanted and disillusioned youth of Australia to visit our country and promote a culture of drugs, violence and foul language," Slipper said in a statement. Reuters also reports that although concert tickets have already gone on sale, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said the government has not yet received a visa application from Eminem. Prime Minister John Howard told Reuters that the decision to ban the artist from Australia was not his to make, but he was concerned about any possible negative impact that Eminem would leave as a result of his tour.