The Simpsons' 'Harshly Hateful' Parody of Morrissey is slammed by Morrissey's manager.
Morrissey's manager, Peter Katsis, was not pleased with how the 61-year-old English singer was depicted in The Simpsons' most recent episode, which aired on Sunday (April 18).
Katsis slammed the Fox cartoon sitcom after the "Panic on the Streets of Springfield" episode featured a parody with a character called Quilloughby (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), who plays Lisa Simpson's latest imaginary friend in the form of "a distraught British singer from the 1980s," a spoof of The Smiths' 1986 single "Panic."
Toward the end of the episode, the two attend a concert, where the real-life Quilloughby comes out on stage with his stomach protruding from his vest and admits that the performance is just a "cash grab." He also yells racial and xenophobic remarks after complaining that veganism "was created by immigrants, of whom there are already too many on this planet."
Quilloughby is "definitely Morrissey-esque, with maybe a little splash of Robert Smith from The Cure, Ian Curtis from Joy Division, and a bunch of other characters," according to Tim Long, who wrote the episode. Katsis, on the other hand, was not pleased that his client was the character's inspiration.
"It's one thing to make a joke about a subject. Other series, such as Saturday Night Live, continue to do an excellent job of inspiring great satire "He expressed his dissatisfaction in a lengthy Facebook post. "But when a show goes to such lows as to use blatantly racist tactics like having the Morrissey character with his belly hanging out of his shirt (when he has never looked like that in his life), it makes you wonder who the real racists are. Even worse, accusing the Morrissey character of racism without citing clear instances accomplishes little. It just helps to make the artist look bad. They should take the mirror and examine themselves in it."
He alluded to Hank Azaria's apology for spreading Indian stereotypes through his character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons from 1989 to 2020, when he stepped down due to "unintended repercussions for people - kids growing up in this world, Indian and South Asian kids growing up in this country." Last summer, the show's creators also released a statement about white actors no longer portraying non-white roles.
After that, Katsis defended Morrissey's opposition to the episode. He wrote, "Morrissey has never made a 'cash grab,' has never sued anyone for their assaults, has never stopped doing amazing shows, and is still a serious vegan and strong supporter of animal rights." "The Simpsons' hypocritical approach to their plot says it all by saying all of the above in this episode."
According to a post on Morrissey's website, BMG dropped the singer from their artist roster in November 2020 due to "new plans for 'diversity.'" Over the last few years, he's been involved in a number of real-life scandals, including his defense of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein during the #MeToo campaign, his argument that "Hitler was Left wing," and his controversial pin that he wore during his Jimmy Fallon appearance in favor of the far-right Islamophobic political party For Britain, among others.
"I hope he hasn't seen it, to be frank," Katsis told Rolling Stone, when asked if Morrissey had seen the show.