Sunday’s episode titled “Panic on the Streets of Springfield” saw Lisa become obsessed with a British singer named Quilloughby, whose likeness and persona was inspired by Morrissey. Lisa discovers Quilloughby and his band The Snuffs on a streaming service, and immediately becomes enthralled with “their brand of literate, sardonic music” and his “militant vegetarianism.” Quilloughby, who was voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, soon appears in Lisa’s life in imaginary form — albeit as his 1980s self.
However, after Lisa has an opportunity to attend a Snuffs reunion concert, she soon discovers that Quilloughby is no longer his former self — instead, he’s now overweight, racist, and worst of all, he eats meat. “I was [a vegan], until I found out veganism was invented by foreigners, for whom there are far too many on this planet,” Quilloughby proclaims.
In a statement posted to Facebook following the airing of the episode, Morrissey blasted The Simpsons for trying “to capitalize on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors.”
“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,” Morrissey opined.
“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.” (Editor’s Note: Morrissey has a long history of spewing racist rhetoric.)
Morrissey went on to cite Hank Azaria’s recent apology over his portrayal of Apu as proof that The Simpsons cast and crew are the real racists. “Truly they are the only ones who have stopped creating, and have instead turned unapologetically hurtful and racist,” he contended.
Meanwhile, “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 singer proclaimed. “By suggesting all of the above in this episode…The Simpsons’ hypocritical approach to their storyline says it all.”
Morrissey then closed his statement with a very Trumpian-line referencing the show’s dwindling ratings: “Not surprising…… that The Simpsons viewership ratings have gone down so badly over recent years.”
Read Morrissey’s full statement below. The episode of The Simpsons is currently available to replay on Hulu.