- UPDATE: Morrissey has now spoken out, claiming that “writing for ‘The Simpsons’ evidently requires only complete ignorance”
The episode, titled Panic On The Streets of Springfield, aired last night (April 19), and saw Lisa getting a new imaginary friend named Quilloughby – a depressed indie singer from 1980s Britain. While the show stopped short of getting Morrissey onboard to voice the character, they instead enlisted the services of Benedict Cumberbatch to voice him, alongside a series of 80s-inspired songs written by Flight Of The Conchords Bret McKenzie.
Lisa discovers Quilloughby and his band The Snuffs before falling for “their brand of literate, sardonic music” and his “militant vegetarianism”. She later attends a Snuffs reunion concert to find that he’s aged into an overweight, racist, meat-eater.
“I was [a vegan], until I found out veganism was invented by foreigners, for whom there are far too many on this planet,” the character says.
Simpsons Morrissey, as flattering as you’d imagine pic.twitter.com/t5mAbqZSKv
— Billy Edwards (@biiilyedwards) April 19, 2021
Hours after the episode aired, a statement on Morrissey’s Facebook page said the show had taken a “turn for the worst” in recent years. The statement was later updated to be attributed to manager Peter Katsis.
“Surprising what a “turn for the worst“ the writing for The Simpson’s tv show has taken in recent years,” wrote Katsis.
Surprising what a “turn for the worst" the writing for The Simpson’s tv show has taken in recent years. Sadly, The…
“Sadly, The Simpson’s show started out creating great insight into the modern cultural experience, but has since degenerated to trying to capitalise on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors.
“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.”
Katsis added: “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.
They should take that mirror and hold it up to themselves.”
Morrissey has faced past condemnation after wearing a badge featuring the logo of far-right anti-Islam political party For Britain during a recent TV appearance on Fallon.
The statement went on to reference Hank Azaria’s recent apology for playing Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, deeming it to be hypocritical.
“Simpson’s actor Hank Azaria’s recent apology to the whole country of India for his role in upholding ”structural racism” says it all,” the statement added.
“Unlike the character in the Simpson’s “Panic” episode……. 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.
“By suggesting all of the above in this episode…the Simpson’s hypocritical approach to their storyline says it all. Truly they are the only ones who have stopped creating, and have instead turned unapologetically hurtful and racist.
Katsis concluded: “Not surprising…… that The Simpsons viewership ratings have gone down so badly over recent years.”
Morrissey is also said to have previously turned down an appearance in Season 15 episode The Regina Monologues.
The episode saw The Simpsons clan heading to Britain, and featured guest appearances from then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
The Simpsons is yet to respond to Morrissey’s criticism.