Korean rapper Don Malik was set to perform at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, on March 17 but was reportedly denied entry into the U.S. and deported back to his home country.
In the visa waiver program issued by SXSW officials, foreign artists are allowed entry into the U.S. without a standard work visa, in exchange for an “exposure only,” or unpaid, performance, according to Allkpop.
However, Malik was detained by customs when he landed at the San Francisco International airport for a layover.
The CEO of Malik’s label, Daze Alive, said in a statement posted to Tumblr on March 15 that the rapper and members of his crew allegedly received a barrage of racist gestures and slurs while they were detained for 24 hours, including being called “chinks” and making monkey expressions.
Malik is the latest in a line of artists who experienced similar visa-related incidents.
Several international artists on their way to Austin for SXSW, including Soviet Soviet, United Vibrations, Massive Scar Era, and ELOQ, have been denied entry into the country, according to Pitchfork.
Jonathan Ginsburg, an entertainment and immigration law expert now serving as immigration counsel to SXSW, said in a statement:
“U.S. immigration law allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. using a B visa or the Visa Waiver Program to conduct business, but not to render services. The U.S. Department of State, accordingly, has long recognized that entertainment groups may enter the U.S. to ‘showcase,’ but not to perform under contract with U.S. venues or other employers.”