Tyler, The Creator has spoken out on having his ban from the UK lifted while explaining he was “treated like a terrorist” by Theresa May.
The 28-year-old rapper was banned from entering the United Kingdom for three to five years back in 2015, which resulted in the cancellation of his planned live shows in support of third album ‘Cherry Bomb’.
Former PM Theresa May, who was the Home Secretary at the time, sent a letter to Tyler’s management claiming that some of his material “encourage[d] violence and intolerance of homosexuality” and “foster[ed] hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts.”
In a new interview with The Guardian, the star discussed the ban and his recent return to these shores. “She’s gone, so I’m back,” he laughed during the conversation, referencing May’s resignation earlier this year.
Tyler later highlighted the complications of undoing the ban, with the publication stating that the process “took many lawyers and letters, much money and time”.
“Then you get the official thumbs up. It was like: damn, finally, but it was so stupid to have to endure that. I got treated like a terrorist,” explained Tyler. “Yeah. I got treated like I was a murderer.
“It was kind of stupid, and after a while I was like: I don’t even want to come back. But it was more the principle of: ‘Y’all really did this, over this? In comparison to other shit people do, that y’all let in?’ So I’m happy that I got back. I feel like I won some invisible fight.”
Tyler went on to admit that he was “surprised” by the length of the ban. “But then I remembered – I’m dark-skinned, so, ahh, all right, I get it,” he said.
“I mean, I don’t point my finger at that at first, but I looked at every outcome and I looked at every option. And after doing that six times, then you say, OK, what’s the difference between everyone else and me? And then you land on that.”