New Zealand has canceled a visa that would have allowed former heavyweight boxing champion of the world Mike Tyson to enter the country to perform his one-man show, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, which is directed by Spike Lee and appeared on Broadway earlier this year, as part of a worldwide speaking tour. The reason given was Tyson’s 1992 rape conviction, for which he was sentenced to six years in prison.
According to The Guardian, Kiwi officials said they had reversed their earlier approval for Tyson to conduct a speaking tour in the country because a children’s charity that would have benefited from his appearance said it wants nothing to do with him.
Kate Wilkinson, New Zealand’s Associate Immigration Minister, told The Guardian that Tyson had initially been granted entry because the Life Education Trust would receive some of the proceeds from the tour, but the charity withdrew its support on Tuesday.
Tyson has said that he was looking forward to meeting the people who inspired his infamous facial tattoo. As the Los Angeles Times reported, Tyson has said he was hoping to meet New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people — whose facial art he said inspired his own — while in the country to speak at the “Day of Champions” charity event in Aukland.
Although Australia hasn’t officially ruled on the matter, it looks likely that they too will bar Iron Mike from conducting his tour in that country.