Smiths Frontman Morrissey Calls The Simpsons ‘Hurtful And Racist’ After Unflattering Depiction In The Classic Cartoon

In its 32 years on air, The Simpsons has depicted dozens if not hundreds of celebrities and other well-known figures in likeness if not in name. While not all of these characterizations have been exactly flattering, it’s kinda like a roast — the jibes are all in good fun (at least usually). One person who took umbrage with his latest “appearance” on the series, however, was Morrissey, who branded The Simpsons “hurtful and racist” after the latest episode.

  1. Technically speaking, it wasn’t Morrissey (but it totally was). The character in the episode titled “Panic on the Streets of Springfield” was actually called Quilloughby, an imaginary friend of Lisa’s who “enjoys nothing,” is a lead singer of a band called The Snuffs, is vegan, and is just sort of a walking misery. It was clear this was meant to be Morrissey even if they couldn’t use The Smiths’ frontman’s actual name.
  2. Morrissey was NOT happy with the depiction. In a statement posted to his official Facebook page early on April 19, the singer called The Simpsons “unapologetically hurtful and racist” despite the fact that he’s a white man and therefore racism does not come into play. He said that he believes the show has taken “a turn for the worst” over the years. “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,” he wrote.
  3. This version of satire just isn’t funny to him. Morrissey went on to say that he can totally take a joke but that what The Simpsons did to him just wasn’t funny. “Poking fun at subjects is one thing. 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,” the statement continued.
  4. He took issue with being portrayed as racist too. Despite plenty of evidence that Morrissey is anti-immigrant, a supporter of far-right groups, and, well, clearly a racist, Morrissey isn’t happy about The Simpsons calling it like they see it. “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,” the statement said.

Oh well, I guess you can’t please everyone.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill