Morrissey was less than impressed with the latest episode of The Simpsons, which features an animated character inspired by him.
The episode, titled Panic on the Streets of Springfield, a reference to the song Panic by Morrissey’s former band The Smiths, aired on Sunday and featured Lisa Simpson making an imaginary friend named Quilloughby – a depressed indie singer from 1980s Britain voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
The rocker, who wasn’t involved in the show, took to Facebook to release a lengthy statement in which he attacked the writers behind the episode for portraying him as a racist.
Insisting The Simpsons had taken a “turn for the worst” in recent years, he wrote: “Sadly, The Simpson’s (sic) 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 (Saturday Night Live) 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.”
He 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.”
Morrissey, who was notably criticised for wearing a badge featuring the logo of far-right anti-Islam political party For Britain during a U.S. TV appearance, went on to reference Hank Azaria’s recent apology for voicing Indian shopkeeper Apu.
“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 singer 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.”
Show bosses have yet to respond to the star’s criticism, however, before the episode aired, show writer Tim Long said the character was inspired by The Cure’s Robert Smith and Joy Division’s Ian Curtis as well as Morrissey.