Morrissey Calls Out 'The Simpsons' for a Character Based on His Persona
The American satirical sitcom, The Simpsons has been on TV for 31 years. On the latest episode — season 32, episode 19 of the show, which had aired on April 18, featured 'Quilloughby.' It took a little time to figure out that the depressed, moody, and right-winged British singer of the 80s character resembled the controversial frontman of rock band The Smiths, Morrissey.
The singer was not happy about it as his team released a statement on his Facebook showing distaste and disappointment towards the show's writers, calling them out for offering a misleading portrayal of him.
Statement by Morrissey's Team
The latest episode of The Simpsons called 'Panic On The Streets of Springfield' featured The Smiths singer parodied as Quilloughby, the frontman of The Snuffs. He was an imaginary pal of Lisa Simpson's with a quiff, a strict vegan diet, and a poor view of foreigners. The character Quilloughby, voiced by the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, is an artist organizing concerts for cash grabs, suing people, and making xenophobic statements in the episode.
Prior to the release of the episode, Morrissey's management was aware of the reference of Morrisey to the character. A teaser for the episode was posted on the singer's official Facebook page, managed by his team, Deckstar.
But hours after the episode aired in the US, a statement was released on the singer's Facebook by his team claiming that the show had taken a "turn for the worst" in recent years, clearly showing disappointment towards the portrayal of Morrisey.
The statement highlighted that the show had started by creating a great insight into popular culture but has since turned into exploiting cheap controversy and spreading nasty rumors. It further compared the approach of Saturday Night Live (SNL), saying that, unlike The Simpsons, SNL was doing a better job at healthy satires.
The statement also criticized the show for depicting Morrissey's character as a racist citing no examples, and called the show hypocritical, referring to the recent controversy of The Simpsons actor Hank Azaria's recent apology for voicing Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on the show for 30 years. The statement concluded with a jab at The Simpsons viewership ratings going down over recent years.
However, according to the writer of the episode, Tim Long, Quilloughby was influenced by not only Morrisey but The Cure's Robert Smith and Joy Division's Ian Curtis as well.
Morrissey's Past Controversies
The character jabs made in the episode were not baseless, as Morrissey has been involved in many controversies in the past. He has made many xenophobic and anti-immigration comments.
Morrissey had been involved in a libel suit against British music paper NME over a 2007 profile that he claimed characterized him as racist, which was settled in 2012.
In 2010, in an interview with The Guardian, he called the Chinese people "a subspecies" and cited the entire population regarding poor treatment of animals.
In 2020, Morrisey's then-record label, BMG, parted ways because of the many disconcerting and racist-leaning statements he had made.