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Tuesday, 29 May, 2001, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Australians try to 'block Eminem tour'
Eminem on stage
Eminem's stage show has been source of some criticism
Australian pressure groups are calling for controversial rapper Eminem to be banned from entering the country after it was rumoured he will tour there, according to reports.

No tour dates have been confirmed but the Australian Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that he will play shows in August or September.

The Australian Family Association (AFA) reportedly has described him as a "hate rapper" and called for the government to deny him an entry visa.

Eminem is due in court on 5 June
The rapper is due back in court in June
The hip-hop star, real name Marshall Mathers, stirred controversy when his British tour was picketed by students and gay rights groups in February.

His stage shows consist of him wielding a chainsaw and pretending to take ecstasy, and his lyrics have been accused of being homophobic and misogynist.

AFA national secretary Bill Muehlenberg told the newspaper that Eminem's "hateful songs" should alarm authorities.

"The government has acted on certain individuals who deliberately offend racial or ethnic or religious groups," he said.

"Given that being sexist, misogynist, racist - everything - applies to Eminem, I would imagine there are a few groups who would be offended.

'Not acceptable'

"This may be a case for the Government to clamp down and not let Eminem into Australia."

Mr Muehlenberg compared Eminem with author David Irving, who was banned from the country after publishing a book questioning the holocaust.

Lisa Solomon, convenor of the Women's Electoral Lobby of Victoria, told the paper that the the rapper's behaviour was "not acceptable".

"He advocates rape of a 15-year-old girl after drugging her, and he advocates raping lesbians," she said.

But promoter Michael Chugg - named International Promoter of the Year by trade magazine Pollstar - said the star's agents are still trying to reach an agreement to stage the tour.

In court

"We've been chasing him for two and a half weeks and I'd have to say I don't think it is going to happen," he told BBC News Online.

The star is due to appear in court in America on 5 June to be sentenced for two firearms offences that took place last year.

He entered a no contest plea to the charges in April.

Last year, some Canadian politicians tried unsuccessfully to ban him from entering the province of Ontario.

He will play festivals in Japan and Britain in July and August.

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See also:

24 Apr 01 | Music
Eminem's UK dates under threat
23 Apr 01 | Music
Eminem enters no contest plea
23 Apr 01 | Music
Eminem leads Reading line-up
23 Apr 01 | Scotland
Eminem tops Glasgow bill
09 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Police investigate Eminem show
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Rapper divides a city
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Students protest at Eminem show
02 May 01 | Music
McCartney backs Eminem
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