Outrage over Tyson’s jokes

NZ Herald 10 Oct 2012
A Maori leader is standing by his support of Mike Tyson’s visa application despite reviews that reveal the former boxer’s one-man show includes jokes about domestic violence and verbal attacks on the woman he was convicted of raping. Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson last week revoked Tyson’s visa to New Zealand after it was revealed the Life Education Trust, which would have been a charitable beneficiary of Tyson’s appearance, did not back his visit. Maori leader and broadcaster Willie Jackson then stepped in to offer the Manukau Urban Maori Authority’s support.

Ms Wilkinson’s office yesterday confirmed it had received a new visa application for Tyson. But questions are again being raised about whether Tyson should be allowed into the country. Stop Demand, a group working to stop sexual violence, has urged Mr Jackson to withdraw his support, citing reviews of Tyson’s one-man show on Broadway in August. The reviews in Britain’s Telegraph and Guardian newspapers said Tyson’s monologue took aim at the 18-year-old woman he was convicted of raping in 1992. He painted her as a villain, made her one of his “targets of contempt”, questioned her credibility and told the audience he owed her no apology. The Guardian’s review said Tyson referred to women as “whores, bitches and tramps”, including his victim, and joked about domestic violence against his ex-wife.

Stop Demand founder Denise Ritchie said the reviews revealed “relentless misogyny and trivialisation of rape and domestic violence”….

Family First director Bob McCoskrie has called on the Government to deny a new visa application. “The Government is right to cancel his visa, and they should ignore pleas from promoters of him coming to NZ who should have done their research better before trying to convince us that Tyson would be of benefit talking to at-risk young people.”