Back in 2013, after a supporter alerted us to rapper Tyler, The Creator's lyrics glorifying rape and extreme violence against women, we called on Immigration to revoke his visa for his upcoming tour. While we were not successful at this time, Tyler, The Creator's abuse of one of our young activists at his Sydney concert led to New Zealand barring him from entry the following year. In 2015, prior to his Australian tour, we again called on Immigration to act, and Tyler, The Creator posted a tweet claiming he had been banned from Australia, tagging our Operations Manager Coralie Alison and citing her as being responsible. As a result, Coralie was inundated with abuse and violent threats from Tyler, The Creator's followers.
Last month, Tyler, The Creator returned to Australia to perform again. Collective Shout Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper provided comment in the Daily Telegraph.
Tyler The Creator finishes tour in Australia despite lyrics rapping about raping and murdering women
Despite being stopped from entering Australia in 2015, rapper Tyler, The Creator has just completed a successful three-show tour across the country.
US rapper Tyler Okonma, 28, was targeted by women’s rights group Collective Shout in 2015 ahead of a proposed Australian tour for his violent misogynistic lyrics, which include graphic descriptions of rape and murder.
Some of his most disturbing lyrics include: “I just wanna drag your lifeless body to the forest and fornicate with it,” “Rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome,” “You call this shit rape but I think that rape’s fun,” and “Punches to the stomach where that bastard kid supposed to be.”
Tyler, The Creator just finished an Australian tour.
Collective Shout campaigns manager Caitlin Roper said the group was “disappointed, but unfortunately not surprised” Okonma was permitted to tour the country.
“It says that women and girls don’t matter very much.”
Many musicians regret their early music and even strike certain songs from their discography if they no longer align with their adult beliefs.
For example, Paramore removed their song Misery Business from their live shows despite it being the group’s most popular song.
However Okonma has never made any statement separating himself from his controversial lyrics.
“A lot of Tyler the Creator’s fans claim he has evolved as an artist, that he has changed, but we haven’t seen any evidence of this,” Ms Roper said.
“If there is genuine self-reflection and change, I think this is generally accompanied by some kind of acknowledgment or action.
“Tyler the Creator has built his career on the degradation of women, and made a lot of money in the process.”
Content warning: This piece contains references to rape and violence against women that may be distressing.
This week, Noisey, Vice’s music channel, published a piece in defence of rap artist Tyler the Creator. The article, entitled ‘#FreeTylerTheCreator And Reject Theresa May’s Dumb Logic’ painted Tyler as a victim of racism and ignorance, and presented misinformation about campaigns against him.
The piece opens by describing a “moving” performance by TTC, summed up with the following statement:
"This – a peaceful lover of nature – is an artist who remains banned from entering the UK under any circumstances.”
It's hard to imagine such a “peaceful lover of nature” could be behind lyrics like “rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome”, or a wealth of others glorifying rape and extreme violence against women, murder, mutilating women’s genitals, stuffing them into car boots, trapping them in his basement, raping their corpses and burying their bodies.
The author suggests there is no basis for TTC to be refused access into any country, and that bans were motivated by racism:
"It was a very blatant case of making an example out of someone for no reason other than the fact that he’s black and angry and all the other countries under the Queen’s rule were doing it.”
The author's lack of research doesn’t end there, with the article incorrectly stating that after being banned from entering New Zealand in 2014, TTC became the focus of Collective Shout.
Collective Shout first campaigned against Tyler the Creator in June of 2013, not because he is “black and angry”, but due to his songs advocating rape and violence against women, often defended by his fans as ‘art’. In the course of our campaign, young activist Talitha Stone wrote a tweet accusing Tyler the Creator of promoting misogyny. TTC responded by sharing her tweet with his millions of followers, who predictably jumped at the opportunity to prove their loyalty by threatening to rape and murder Talitha, with police involvement required after one fan tweeted her home address.
Just days later, Tyler launched into an abusive tirade against Talitha who was in the crowd at his Sydney concert, calling her a bitch, whore and c*** as concertgoers cheered. He then proceeded to dedicate the song ‘Bitch Suck Dick’ to her, which contains the lyrics “You dead bitch, I'm hot as f*ck…Punch a bitch in her mouth just for talkin' shit”.
Is this still ‘art’?
Over the course of our Tyler the Creator campaign, we've received hundreds of Facebook comments, emails and tweets from fans of Tyler the Creator. Many of them ask the same questions or reiterate the same defences for Tyler's behaviour. We address some of the more common arguments from Tyler's defenders here.Read more
After Tyler the Creator tagged Coralie Alison in a Tweet claiming he had been banned from entering Australia, our Operations Manager was subjected to an onslaught of vile abuse and rape and death threats from his fans. Award-winning journalist Victoria A. Brownworth wrote this piece in Curve magazine in response.
Why Do Hundreds of Men Want to Rape and Kill Coralie Alison?
by Victoria A. Brownworth
I’m used to seeing attacks on feminists I know on Twitter. I’m used to reporting those attacks when I see them and tweeting solidarity to whomever is being victimized. But even I, a seasoned veteran of Twitter misogyny, was unprepared for what I saw the night of July 27 on Twitter.
Tweet after tweet after tweet, each more violent than the next attacking Coralie Alison, Director of Operations at Collective Shout, a non-profit in Melbourne, Australia dedicated to “a world free of sexploitation”–something all women and girls need.
I’ve tweeted with Coralie for a couple of years. She’s young, focused and gets stuff done. She’s the kind of feminist you want working on real-world issues.
One of the real-world issues of sexploitation she and Collective Shout have been addressing is misogyny in music–something the U.S. has just thrown up its hands over.
In June, Coralie and Collective Shout called on the Australian Immigration Minister to revoke rapper Tyler, The Creator’s (real name, Tyler Okonma) visa based on his violently anti-woman lyrics and his actions on a previous tour to Australia. Tyler was scheduled to perform in Australia in September.
* * *
That’s when the mayhem began. Even though there was no ban on Tyler–no decision has been made on his visa–the singer decided to tell his fans that there was. Then he sat back and watched the show.
In a statement responding to the tweet and the aftermath, Frontier Touring said: “The department for immigration has raised issues with the visa application, but it has not been refused and Frontier will update ticket holders as soon as more information comes to hand.”)
It took only minutes for Tyler’s fans to respond to his tweet blaming Coralie for banning him. Then the orchestrated attacks on her began.
@CoralieAlison Take a thick rope and put it around your neck and go for a 1080 suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge...
@CoralieAlison drink bleach and die slut
@CoralieAlison Sit on a plunger you fat skank
Can you help me clean my dads semen out of my asshole??? Thanks! @CoralieAlison
@CoralieAlison I want you to put a toothpick in your vagina, then thrust a wall as hard as you can.
@CoralieAlison take a bath with your toaster please