Despite efforts to stop him, Eminem crossed Canada's border without difficulty Thursday afternoon, and is preparing to perform as planned at the Toronto Skydome as part of the Anger Management Tour, according to Dennis Dennehy, a spokesperson for the rapper.
The nation's citizenship and immigration authority determined on Thursday (October 26) that there are no legal grounds to keep Eminem out, despite a call from Ontario's attorney general to deny him entry because of his violent lyrics, said Derek Hodgson, press secretary for Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan.
"The guy's [getting] in, as abhorrent as his lyrics are," Hodgson said.
Ontario Attorney General Jim Flaherty said on Wednesday that immigration officials should prevent Eminem from entering Canada because he is likely to perform songs that advocate violence against women (see "Canadian Officials Asked To Stop Eminem At Border").
Flaherty could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Earlier this month, activist Valerie Smith of Toronto filed a criminal complaint about the lyrics of such Eminem songs as "Kill You" and "Kim," accusing the rapper of violating Canada's hate-crime laws (see "Eminem's Lyrics Spark Criminal Complaint"). Both songs appeared on Eminem's multiplatinum The Marshall Mathers LP, released in May.
"Slut, you think I won't choke no whore/ Till her vocal cords don't work in her throat no more," Eminem raps on "Kill You," which includes the refrain, "Bitch, I'm'ma kill you."
On "Kim," a woman occasionally screams and whimpers while Eminem angrily yells at her, accusing her of cheating and then plotting to kill her. The rapper has said the song was inspired by real-life arguments with his estranged wife, Kim Mathers.
In interviews, and even in songs such as "Stan," Eminem has repeatedly urged listeners not to take
his violent lyrics literally.
Michael Bryant, Ontario's attorney general critic for the opposition Liberal Party, said Wednesday that Eminem should be prosecuted after his performance for violation of those laws, but Dennehy said that the rapper doesn't expect any legal problems in Canada.
Detective Rob Cooper, a hate-crimes investigator with the Toronto police, said Wednesday that he doubts any action will be taken against the rapper because Canada's hate-crime laws don't include women as a protected category. Cooper did not return a call for comment by press time on Thursday.
Smith had asked that Eminem's songs be classified as hate propaganda under Section 319 of the Canadian Criminal Code, which prohibits "communicating statements, other than in private conversation, [that] willfully [promote] hatred against an identifiable group." In the code, "identifiable group" refers to color, race, religion or ethnic origin.
While Canada's hate-crime laws don't
address gender or sexual orientation, Smith claims that another section of the country's criminal code guarantees women equal protection.
If Eminem were successfully prosecuted for hate-crime violations, he could face up to two years in prison for performing his work in public.
The Anger Management Tour also includes Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and Xzibit.