The manager for former Smiths frontman Steven Patrick Morrissey, best known as Morrissey, slammed The Simpsons after the show lampooned the rocker as a “huge racist.”
In The Simpsons episode, titled, “Panic on the Streets of Springfield,” Lisa becomes a fan of an ’80s indie rock band The Snuffs, and its lead singer Quilloughby, who becomes her imaginary friend and inspires her to be more like him.
But when Lisa finally goes to see the real Quilloughby live, she realizes he’s nothing but a bloated, washed-up rocker and ends up calling him a “huge racist,” before severing ties with her imaginary friend.
Hate to see you leave but love to watch you when you go. 😍
We'll be back with a new episode on May 9. pic.twitter.com/qDGbroUra2
— The Simpsons (@TheSimpsons) April 19, 2021
While The Simpsons scriptwriter Tim Long insisted Quilloughby was a fictionalized blend of various ’80s U.K. icons, “The Snuffs” band was a not-so-subtle spoof of the rock band The Smiths, and “Quilloughby” was a spoof of Morrissey.
The rocker did not appear to be pleased with the episode, as his manger Peter Katsis took to his Facebook account to post a statement reacting to the way the show depicted him.
“Poking fun at subjects is one thing,” the statement read. “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,” the statement added.
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The statement went on to suggest the show “take that mirror and hold it up to themselves,” pointing out that Simpson’s actor Hank Azaria had recently apologized “to the whole country of India for his role in upholding ‘structural racism,'” a reference to the white actor who voiced the show’s long-running Indian character, Apu.
The statement also called out The Simpsons for having the Quilloughby character admit onstage that The Snuffs’ reunion concert was just a “cash grab,” because “I lost my fortune suing people for saying things about me… that were completely true.”
“Unlike the character in the Simpson’s ‘Panic’ episode……. 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,” the statement read.
In the Simpsons episode, Quilloughby also denounced veganism, saying it “was invented by foreigners, of whom there are far too many on this planet!”
“By suggesting all of the above in this episode… the Simpson’s hypocritical approach to their storyline says it all,” the statement said. “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,” the statement concluded.