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Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Eminem Australian tour threatened
Eminem
Eminem may not make it Down Under
By Anita Kazmierczak in Australia

The first Australian tour by notorious rapper Eminem is under threat, as family and women's groups lobby the government to deny him a visa to enter the country.

The Australian Family Association said the performer and the promoter were exploiting young people by cashing in on violent messages.


It's pretty naive and unrealistic that all artists and performers are going to paint the world with a rosy glow.

Michael Gudinski, Frontier Touring
"Some of the messages he portrays - the violence, and especially the sexual violence, certainly doesn't help with our high suicide and drug abuse rates," said national secretary, Bill Muehlenberg.

The association is pushing for the Immigration department to reject any application for a visa, on the basis of Eminem's past criminal activities, but especially because of his suggestive, homophobic and misogynistic lyrics.

Highest price

Fans down under are desperately hoping Eminem will be granted a visa to enter the country to play two dates in late July - one in Sydney and the other in Melbourne.

Eminem's album, The Marshall Mathers LP, released last year has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide.

The promoter, Frontier Touring, will pay around $1 m Australian (370,000) for each show - the highest price ever paid for an indoor gig in Australia.

Frontier Touring's Michael Gudinski, who most recently promoted Kylie Minogue's massive Australian tour, defended the Grammy Award winner, saying he was "the most relevant artist in the world today".

"Let's face it, we don't live in Pleasantville, and most people in the world never lived there in the first place. It's pretty naive and unrealistic that all artists and performers are going to paint the world with a rosy glow," Gudinski added.
Eminem
Eminem has made frequent court appearances

Gudinski said that while Eminem had not yet been granted a visa, he did not foresee any problems.

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said Eminem's character and past convictions would be weighed up against the perceived entertainment value, as well as local employment opportunities provided by the tour, before a decision on his visa was made.

Eminem is set to headline Glasgow's Gig on the Green this summer.

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