Over the weekend, The Simpsons aired an episode called ‘Panic On The Streets Of Springfield’ that was inspired by Morrissey, and The Smiths’ frontman isn’t happy about it.
The vegan musician has had his fair share of controversy over the years for making anti-immigrant remarks, so naturally the show depicted his character Quilloughby (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) as a greedy, overweight, meat-eating racist.
Simpsons Morrissey, as flattering as you’d imagine pic.twitter.com/t5mAbqZSKv
— Billy Edwards (@biiilyedwards) April 19, 2021
Morrissey’s manager Peter Katsis shared a lengthy statement on the singer’s Facebook page, slamming the show for its “degenerated” writing.
“Surprising what a ‘turn for the worst’ the writing for The Simpson’s tv show has taken in recent years,” the statement reads.
“Sadly, The Simpson’s show started out creating great insight into the modern cultural experience, but has since degenerated to trying to capitalize on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors.”
“Poking fun at subjects is one thing,” he notes. “Other shows like SNL still do a great job at finding ways to inspire great satire. But when a show stoops so low to use harshly hateful tactics like showing the Morrissey character with his belly hanging out of his shirt (when he has never looked like that at any point in his career) makes you wonder who the real hurtful, racist group is here. Even worse – calling the Morrissey character out for being a racist, without pointing out any specific instances, offers nothing. It only serves to insult the artist.
“They should take that mirror and hold it up to themselves.”
His message continues by pointing out Hank Azaria’s recent apology for upholding “structural racism” by voicing Apu, and compares that to the portrayal of Morrissey.
“Morrissey has never made a ‘cash grab’, hasn’t sued any people for their attacks, has never stopped performing great shows, and is still a serious vegan and strong supporter for animal rights,” he says. “By suggesting all of the above in this episode…the Simpson’s hypocritical approach to their storyline says it all. Truly they are the only ones who have stopped creating, and have instead turned unapologetically hurtful and racist. Not surprising… that The Simpsons viewership ratings have gone down so badly over recent years.”
Although The Simpsons has not responded to the statement, ahead of the episode airing, scriptwriter Tim Long told Stereogum that the Quilloughby character wasn’t inspired by one muso, but was rather “Morrissey-esque, with maybe a small dash of Robert Smith from the Cure, Ian Curtis from Joy Division, and a bunch of other people.”
One commenter, replied to Katsis’ statement on Morrissey’s official’s Facebook page, saying “The Simpsons haven’t produced any good content in years. Then again, neither has Morrissey. As you were.”