After his manager Peter Katsis took over the Morrissey Official Facebook page to rant about Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons, Morrissey himself has now responded to clarify his opinion on the whole affair. The episode, titled “Panic on the Streets of Springfield” in reference to The Smiths’ song “Panic,” parodies Morrissey through the presence of Lisa Simpson’s imaginary friend Quilloughby, the depressed singer for The Smiths-like band The Snuffs.
Morrissey began his response by saying that he hopes this first comment on the matter will also be his last, before stating, “The hatred shown towards me from the creators of The Simpsons is obviously a taunting lawsuit, but one that requires more funding than I could possibly muster in order to make a challenge.” It’s unclear whether he meant to write “taunting a lawsuit” instead. The potential lawsuit would presumably be a defamation case, but given this full statement, it’s definitely possible that his team would have intended to make a case for the emotional distress caused by The Simpsons’ writers taunting him.
The singer alleged that the episode’s writers were aware that he didn’t have the legal resources to sue them, and that that’s why he was “so carelessly and noisily attacked.” Later on, he adds that he has dealt with “horrible accusations” since the first time he was ever interviewed, and that he’s “quite used to it” by now. He claimed that people write accusations about him any time they write about him because there’s a sense that that’s the way that everyone writes about Morrissey.
There’s also a passage in which Morrissey claims that musicians with strong emotions aren’t desired nowadays, saying “You are especially despised if your music affects people in a strong and beautiful way.” He adds that providing a bit of strength to others is “the worst thing you can do in 2021,” which in context could either be a sarcastic statement or a serious one. From there, he claims that everyone knows that free speech doesn’t exist anymore.
“In a world obsessed with Hate Laws, there are none that protect me,” Morrissey continues. “Often, the scandal sheets (do we STILL refer to them as ‘news’papers?) attempt to psychologically wound an artist, and then, hopefully stir up enough hatred against that artist so that s/he is physically wounded. False theories of race are now the most common (and boring) aspect of all criticism, and will continue to be so until accusations of racism are in themselves illicit.”
He spends some time addressing his issue with how the press has alienated him from his fans and his friends, claiming that journalists have bombarded those close to him in efforts to expose him for “tell-tale incidents of racism.” Morrissey says he would retaliate if he had the legal resources that he mentioned at the beginning of the comment, but unfortunately he is forced to deal with the “victimization” alone.
Morrissey’s last few lines go to show how heavily the public criticism has affected him, “Life is difficult and you must face it on your own, and even with the impossible-to-imagine legal artillary, everything can be repaired … except the human heart.” His final line is frighteningly foreboding, “It is easier for me not to go on. You know I couldn’t last.”
Meanwhile, Katsis posted another comment on the Morrissey Official page. The manager questioned why Benedict Cumberbatch took the role of Quilloughby and accused the famous actor of either being low on cash or an asshole. Cumberbatch sang a few Bret McKenzie-penned parody songs in the episode including “Everyone Is Horrid Except Me (And Possibly You)” and “Hamburger Homicide.” Katsis closes with a schoolboy challenge, asking Cumberbatch whether he has “enough balls” to tell his side of the story.