U.S. rappers Odd Future banned from New Zealand
WELLINGTON, New Zea-land — New Zealand immigration authorities Thursday banned Los Angeles rappers Odd Future from entering the country after deciding they pose a threat to public order.
The group was due to play an open-air concert with headline act Eminem on Saturday in Auckland.
Border Operations Manager Karen Urwin said authorities decided to decline visas to six group members after becoming aware of a 2011 incident in Boston in which some witnesses claimed group members incited fans to attack police officers.
“It’s not a decision we take lightly and not one that happens often,” Urwin said.
Group member Tyler, The Creator vented his frustration on Twitter today.
“They said we were ‘terrorist threats and bad for the society’ or whatever. Sick,” he wrote. He later tweeted, “I love NZ tho.”
The hip-hop group, which is also known as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, is known for its anarchic style and lyrics that refer to drugs, killing and rape.
Urwin said the six rappers had intended to stay in New Zealand just a few days before leaving for Australia.
She said it was rare to ban musicians under rules that cover character concerns. She said those provisions in the past have been used to stop people like white supremacist group leaders and high-profile Holocaust deniers.
She said some people wrongly assumed authorities considered the group’s lyrics in imposing the ban.
“If we banned people who used swear words, we wouldn’t have many people left in New Zealand,” she said.
In an official statement, Immigration New Zealand said: “Odd Future has been deemed to be a potential threat to public order and the public interest for several reasons, including incidents at past performances in which they have incited violence.”
In the 2011 incident, Tyler, The Creator was signing autographs at a comic store when police were called because of the large number of fans.
News reports at the time said some people climbed on the roof and shouted insults at the police, and some viewed that as inciting fans to attack.
Urwin said an Odd Future group member in Australia also tweeted details of a woman campaigning to have the group banned, which resulted in her receiving threats.
In 2012, New Zealand banned former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson from coming to a speaking engagement due to his criminal history. Last year it banned musician David Rovics, citing his blog posts on drug-taking and a Canadian ban for giving false information to immigration officials there.
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LOS ANGELES — The California Highway Patrol has released audio of two motorists’ calls reporting erratic driving and the aftermath of an early-morning collision involving actor-comedian Chris Kattan.
Kattan, 43, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence early Monday after crashing into a road crew on westbound U.S. 101 in Southern California. No one was injured in the crash and Kattan was released after his arrest.
[PHOTO: In this Nov. 11, 2009 file photo, actor Chris Kattan arrived at Puma's African Bazaar event in Los Angeles. Audio released by the California Highway Patrol on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, includes two motorists who describe Kattan's driving and the aftermath of his collision with a road crew on a Southern California freeway during the early morning hours Monday. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)]
Audio released Wednesday shows dispatchers received two calls related to Kattan’s driving and accident.
One caller estimated the actor was traveling around 70 mph moments before the crash.
Another motorist who reported the accident described the comedian leaving his car and walking on the highway afterward.
Kattan’s manager and agent did not immediately return email messages seeking comment.
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WASHINGTON — Seth Meyers has scored a powerful guest for his first episode of “Late Night:” Vice President Joe Biden.
The vice president’s office says Biden will appear on the show during the Feb. 24 premiere.
The longtime “Saturday Night Live” cast member is taking over the NBC show from Jimmy Fallon, who will be the new frontman for NBC’s “The Tonight Show.” First lady Michelle Obama is among the guests appearing on Fallon’s show during his opening week.
Fallon’s new show debuts Monday.