Oz won't give Snoop Dogg his day
EmptySYDNEY -- It's the type of publicity money can't buy.
The Australian government on Thursday canceled rapper Snoop Dogg's visa on the grounds that he is not "of good character," preventing him from making an appearance at Sunday's MTV Australian Video Music Awards.
Federal immigration minister Kevin Andrews told Macquarie Radio that Snoop Dogg, born Calvin Broadus, was issued with a notice of intention to cancel his visa after he failed the government's character test, which takes criminal convictions into account.
"The reality is ... he has a whole string of convictions, and just two weeks ago I was told he was convicted on a number of charges again and sentenced to three years imprisonment on two, and three years imprisonment on another, with five years probation and a suspended sentence," Andrews told Macquarie Radio. "He has been denied entry into the U.K. because he was caught with others causing a fray at Heathrow Airport. He doesn't seem the sort of bloke we want in this country."
The rapper, who visited Australia in February to film segments for a new MTV show and made an appearance at last years AVMAs, pleaded no contest to the charges in the U.S. and was given a three-year suspended sentence.
MTV Networks Australia managing director Dave Sibley said they hoped the 35-year-old rapper, one of the AVMA's drawing cards, would be appearing at Sunday's event.
"MTV executives are cooperating fully with immigration officials to respond to the cancellation of his visa, and remain hopeful he will be permitted to enter the country to attend Sunday's MTV Australia Video Music Awards as scheduled," the network said in a statement.
"We respect the process, but it's not over yet," Sibley added.
MTV is making a big commitment to this market as the event enters its third year. It's importing a flock of U.S. stars including Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson, who will host the ceremony, Jared Leto, Pink, Nicole Richie, Good Charlotte and Kristin Cavallari as well as such local acts as Eskimo Joe, Evermore, Stephanie Macintosh, Sneaky Sound System and Damien Leith.
The network launched broadband video-on-demand service Overdrive last week in the market to coincide with the awards.