U.S. State Department to Boy George: "Do you really want to hurt him?"

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I swear I am not making up any of this blogpost. The other day, Culture Club figurehead Boy George -- who was supposed to tour the U.S. for the first time in ten years -- was denied a visa into the country.

From an email I received, this trek was to include "a free show for the workers of the New York Department of Sanitation and their families at DSNY Family Day to express his gratitude for their kindness when he worked with the DSNY in 2006."

However, during yesterday's U.S. State Department press briefing, someone brought up Boy George's plight. Here's the video; scroll to 2:30. Transcript and (of course) my fave Culture Club song after the jump.

QUESTION: And what does the U.S. Government have against Boy George – (laughter) – You denied him a visa.

MR. CASEY: Sorry, I should have swallowed before you said that. (Laughter.) Let’s see if I spit the water over any place else. (Laughter.)

I’ve seen the report that’s out there. Obviously, visa records are confidential. But I’d simply note that there often are difficulties for individuals who either are currently subject to criminal charges or otherwise may have criminal records. So I think you might want to look toward some of those reasons as why he might be having some difficulties here.

QUESTION: It’s tragic really.

MR. CASEY: Do you really want to hurt him? (Laughter.)

Yeah, Libby.

QUESTION: Switch topics from Boy George?

MR. CASEY: Yes, please.

"Church of the Poison Mind":

-- Annie Zaleski

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