April 19, 2021 | 10:27pm ET
Morrissey has issued his “first comment (and hopefully my last)” on a recent episode of The Simpsons parodying the former Smiths singer.
Entitled “Panic on the Streets of Springfield”, Sunday night’s episode saw Lisa become obsessed with a British singer named Quilloughby, whose resemblance to 1980s Morrissey is uncanny. But after attending a concert, Lisa learns that Quilloughby has aged to become an overweight cantankerous racist, who has forsaken veganism after learning “it was invented by foreigners.”
In response, Morrissey’s manager Peter Katsis issued two strongly worded statements on Facebook, in which he accused The Simpsons of racism and threatened the show, as well as media publications which reported on it, with legal action.
Now, Morrissey himself has issued a lengthy response via his website Morrissey Central. He, too, briefly flirts with the idea of taking legal action over a parody before acknowledging that such a lawsuit “requires more funding than I could possibly muster in order to make a challenge. Neither do I have a determined business squad of legal practitioners ready to pounce.”
From there, Morrissey embarks on a lengthy diatribe in which he attempts to rationalize why he is “so carelessly and noisily attacked.” In Morrissey’s mind, it’s because his “music affects people in a strong and beautiful way, since music is no longer required to. In fact, the worst thing you can do in 2021 is to lend a bit of strength to the lives of others.”
“There is no place in modern music for anyone with strong emotions,” Morrissey continues. “Limitations have been placed on art, and no label will sign an artist who might answer back. Anyway, forgive me, we all know this because we can see how music – and the world in general, has become a mesmerizing mess, and we must let it go spinning along unbearably because free speech no longer exists. We all know this.”
Morrissey also swears that he’s “quite used” to having “horrible accusations” made against him. “I’ve had enough horror thrown at me that would kill off a herd of bison,” he opines. “Accusations usually come from someone with a crazed desire for importance; they don’t operate at a very high level. Writing for The Simpsons, for example, evidently requires only complete ignorance. But all of these things are too easy for me to say. In a world obsessed with Hate Laws, there are none that protect me.”
He also waxes on the plight of being a modern-day Morrissey fan: “I have watched ‘Smiths fans’ being attacked by the UK press on the grounds that ‘Smiths fans’ are too backward to understand the person that I am; I have watched the modern Morrissey audience be ridiculed by the UK press with the belief that they, too, couldn’t possibly know who I am, and I have lost several high-profile friends because they could no longer live with the night and day harassment from British journalists who are suicidally anguished because they cannot urge the people around me to drum up tell-tale incidents of racism.”
To close his statement, Morrissey goes full melodramatic: “People continually ask me why I do not retaliate… The answer is explained in the first few lines of this comment. Life is difficult and you must face it on your own, and even with the impossible-to-imagine legal artillary, everything can be repaired … except the human heart.”
“It is easier for me not to go on. You know I couldn’t last.”
Read Morrissey’s full statement Morrissey Central. The episode of The Simpsons is currently available to replay on Hulu.