Tyler, The Creator has never been the one to shy away from making headlines, so when it was announced he was canceling his tour dates in Australia, he went to Twitter to release a statement. Earlier today he took to Twitter again to announce more cancelled show dates.
Earlier this summer Tyler announced that he had been banned from Australia. Well not actually banned but according to Stereogum, a feminist grassroots organization called Collective Shout was campaigning to keep him from performing in their country. In an effort to avoid the controversy Tyler and his touring company cancelled the Australian tour altogether, and now they’ve cancelled even more shows.
On Twitter Tyler informed everyone that he would be canceling several UK dates, including his sets at the Reading and Leeds festivals this weekend, due to “circumstances” that he has not mentioned. He added: “I’m sorry. I love you, save the horses.” Shows in Belfast and Dublin on 8/25 and 8/26 have respectably been cancelled as well. No word on rescheduled shows or refunds for tickets yet.
Tyler recently used Twitter to start a potential collaboration with former One Direction singer Zayn Malik. Tyler wrote: “Hi @zaynmalik, I have beautiful instrumentals and you have a voice lets figure this out my guy. Epic album cuts tho no radio singles.” Malik later eagerly responded saying: “@fucktyler sounds sick BRO let do some shit!” No word if the two will end up making music together but you can still catch Tyler on tour alongside A$AP Rocky this Fall.
Tyler has now been banned from the U.K for 3-5 years. He tweeted saying he has been banned, “Based on lyrics from 2009.” His tour with A$AP Rocky is still on according to the dates they added today.
A statement from his manager Christian Clancy reads:
Beyond the issues of free speech, Clancy is quick to note that the lyrics in question are six to seven years old, written when Tyler was 18 years old. “Can you imagine being beholden to things you said when you were 18?” later adding, “How do you punish someone for growing up?”
tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between 3 to 5 years per a letter from the secretary of state for the home department of the united kingdom. the letter specifically cites lyrics he wrote 6-7 years ago for his albums bastard and goblin – the type of lyrics he hasn’t written since… highlights from the letter include that his work “encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality” and “fosters hatred with views thats seek to provoke others to terrorist acts..” i grew up on NWA, eminem and rage against the machine, so its hard to me to fully wrap my head this thought process and its implications.
to say that i am confused would be an understatement. can you imagine being beholden to things you said when you were 18? tyler has been to the UK over 20x in the last 5 years without incident (shows, in stores, meet and greets). we rented out a movie theatre last month in London for a private showing of napoleon dynamite for his fans. literally last month.
more importantly, this is a broader issue of free speech, with new lines being drawn that include reaching back in time without acknowledging growth. in fact, punishing growth. what i do know is tyler is part of an argument that is counter to who he has become. how do you punish someone for growing up? since the letter acknowledged he was writing from an alter ego perspective does this then apply to book writers? the fact that he has evolved into someone who has acknowledged and grown out of that is simply lost in the narrative. is he not worthy of the pat on the back for becoming aware and making changes? what message does that send? is race a conscious or subconscious factor at all?
theres a lot to absorb and understand, but while he gets painted as some sort of anti christ i want to make sure people know the facts, which are that he hasn’t delved into those lyrics in years – he writes songs about cars and spreading your wings. he doesn’t drink or smoke, he owns his own businesses, he takes care of his family and friends, he’s honest, grateful, aware, fearless, intelligent, and inspiring. his shows serve as a release, not acts of aggression.
is he perfect? absolutely not. he’s a human evolving like the rest of us, and that process evolution is a process, not a light switch.
im not defending his OLD lyrics. to be honest they make me cringe, but i stand beside him because of who he actually IS. our 8 year old daughter, who is constantly inspired by him, said it best; “why would they ban tyler? that makes no sense.”
Cancelled shows in the U.K and Ireland include:
Aug. 25 – Belfast, Northern Ireland
Aug. 26 – Dublin, Ireland
Aug. 28 – Leeds, U.K.
Aug. 30 – Reading, U.K.