Morrissey: “Diversity means conformity – it’s a terrible word”

"Pin it to anything and that situation is finished," said the singer when discussing diversity in art and culture

Morrissey has shared his views on the conversation around “diversity” in the arts and wider culture.

The solo artist and former The Smiths singer has given his first on-camera interview since 2015.

When Morrissey was talking about “dumbing down” of culture in the UK, including the “insufferable” content on British TV adverts, he went on to claim that “not many people have faith in music anymore”.


The singer continued, saying that “bloodless” record labels now have a tendency to drop new acts that don’t generate near-instant success. He added that in the past labels allowed artists to have multiple “flops” before deciding to cut ties.

“They [record label heads] talk all about, ‘Oh we must have diversity, diversity, diversity,’ which is diversity of people that you don’t know,” Morrissey said. “And it just means – it’s just another word for conformity. It’s the new way of saying conformity, diversity. You don’t see anything diverse anyway, it’s all conformity.”

When the interviewer mentioned that the word (‘diversity’) is “having the opposite effect”, Morrissey agreed, saying: “It is, because when people talk about diversity they don’t think about the great things that we don’t have in common.

“And those things are ignored. And they always made countries very interesting because you could travel to Germany, you could see the most incredible culture. You go to Italy, see the most incredible culture. Now, they just want everything to be the same.”

He continued: “So diversity means conformity. It doesn’t mean let’s – it doesn’t mean avant-garde or, ‘Let’s make really interesting, strange art.’ It means box everybody [in].


“Diversity, I think, is a dreadful word. Pin it to anything and that situation is finished. It’s a terrible word – terrible.”

Morrissey performs live
Morrissey performs live. CREDIT: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Morrissey confirmed in the same interview filmed at the London Palladium during his UK tour that he’s already written the follow-up to his forthcoming new album ‘Bonfire Of Teenagers’.

His 14th solo album, ‘Bonfire Of Teenagers’, will no longer be released in February of 2023, with the singer adding that its fate is “exclusively in the hands” of Capitol Records (Los Angeles). NME has since reached out to Capitol Records for comment.

Asked whether he was working on anything else besides the new record, the singer replied: “We have written the follow-up album, and that will be recorded soon, but it won’t be released soon, because ‘Bonfire Of Teenagers’ must have a chance to breathe and blow and so forth. But it will be recorded soon.”

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