Although he was scheduled to perform at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas, Korean rapper Don Malik was reportedly denied entry into the United States and sent back to Korea.
Don Malik was scheduled to perform at the Karma Lounge on March 17 as a part of SXSW in Austin, Texas. However, he experienced trouble entering the country that has also hit other foreign groups traveling to the United States for SXSW. He also claimed to have experienced racial discrimination from customs officials during the time period he was detained.
According to his agency. the United States Customs Officials used the racial slur “chink” when referring to Don Malik and the group he was traveling with. Ultimately, Don Malik and his group was forced to return to Korea.
Below is the full statement released by Don Malik’s label daze alive regarding the situation.
“Hello, this is daze alive.
We have some unfortunate and sad news to announce.
Don Malik, who was invited to global festival #SXSW in Austin, Texas, was mistreated and denied entry into the United States. Because of this, his showcase scheduled for March 17 at 9 pm (local time) at the Karma Lounge will be cancelled.
On March 12, Don Malik departed Incheon Airport together with staff members and artists of his agency Stone Ship. At their layover in San Francisco International Airport, they were refused entry into the country by customs, detained, and then sent back to Incheon.
Don Malik and his group were approved by the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) as short-term guests who are not engaging in commercial activites. This also abides with the Visa Waiver Program between the United States and South Korea. SWSW would not be paying him for his appearance and the entire group had all relevant documents in hand. They also had proof of the ESTA approval and travel visas
Nonetheless, they were refused entry and then detained for 24 hours. They were discriminated against by local employees who pulled both their ears to their sides, mocking a monkey, and referred to them as chink. In addition, the entire group’s cell phones were confiscated, making it impossible to contact local officials for assistance. One of the artists in the group even was handcuffed for no reason. Because they were denied entry, the group’s ESTA approval has been nullified.
Magazines Pitchfork and Spin have reported that at least 7 other groups have been refused entry in this same fashion. Out of the 7 groups, one of them had the same visa Don Malik’s group had and had participated in SXSW twice.
We are very sorry that our artists were refused entry, treated unfairly and discriminated against. We hope that one day, fans who were looking forward to Don Malik’s showcase can see him perform under better conditions.
March 15, 2017 – daze alive CEO – JERRY.K”
— daze alize
Source: Jerry.k Music