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Posted Sep 1st, 2015 (9:16 am) by Matt Felten
Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator

The Odd Future figurehead says he's being "treated like a terrorist."

In August, Tyler, the Creator was banned from entering the UK for 3 to 5 years by the UK Home Office. The reason? His lyrics violate anti-terrorism guidelines. Here's what the overly sensitive Home Office had to say:

"The home secretary has reached this decision because you have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviour by making statements that may foster hatred, which might lead to intercommunity violence in the UK.

Your albums Bastard, in 2009, and Goblin, in 2011, are based on the premise of your adopting a mentally unstable alter ego who describes violent physical abuse, rape and murder in graphic terms which appears to glamourise this behaviour."

Tyler recently did an interview with the Guardian in which he explained the unjust situation from his point of view. In reference to his recent banning from Australia, Tyler responds:

"[The UK government] are just followers. Everyone is a follower, just following what other countries are doing. Now I’m getting treated like a terrorist...

The thing that irks me about it is that the paper saying I am denied entry to the UK clearly states that these songs were written from [the perspective of] an alter ego – which means they obviously did some research on these songs that they’re detaining me for. So the argument is right there!"

He continues:

"What about the people who will make music in the next five years? Are they gonna get banned? Why don’t they ban authors? Writers who write these mystery books about people getting raped and sabotaged and murdered and brainwashed – why don’t they ban them? There are rallies of neo-Nazis in parts of England. And then you’re telling me I can’t come there because of some bullshit song, but you got motherfuckers with swastikas rallying down the street actually promoting hate?

This is only gonna open a door for other people to get banned. And then they’re gonna go after video games, and then they’re gonna go after movies, and we’re gonna live in such a sensitive world. It’s like the world is scared of everything. I feel like everyone is so sensitive to everything, and if they don’t like something it’s like: “Oh my God, I don’t like the colour yellow – let’s get yellow banned from every country, let’s sign a petition – let’s start a hashtag to make sure this colour is never seen, because I don’t like it and I don’t understand it."

Aside from the obvious problem of censorship, the UK's decision shows a serious lack of responsibility for their own societal problems. They have an issue with violence, so they blame it on a musician whose music contains references to violence rather than taking responsibility and trying to do something about it. It's the same exact argument made against Marilyn Manson, whose music was blamed for heroin overdoses and Columbine. Absolutely asinine. Tyler is right that this type of creative crucifixion will spread to other forms of art if it is allowed to continue, and that is a bleak path of censorship that we most definitely do not want to go down.

Read Tyler's entire interview here.

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