Morrissey's manager criticizes 'The Simpsons' for 'totally heartless attack' on artist

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The manager for former The Smiths frontman Morrissey blasted "The Simpsons" for its depiction of the singer in the latest episode of the show.

The artist's manager Peter Katsis said the show, "has since degenerated to trying to capitalize on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors."

The episode, "Panic on the Streets of Springfield," which aired Sunday night, followed Lisa Simpson’s obsession with a vegan British musician named Quilloughby, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the lead singer of the band the Snuffs. Quilloughby appears as an imaginary friend to Lisa, who inspires her to sing songs like "Hamburger Homicide" and "Everyone is Horrid Except Me (And Possibly You)."

However, things change when Lisa sees Quilloughby perform in real life and he turns out to be a snobbish, meat-eating xenophobe.

British singer and songwriter Morrissey, performs at the Vive Latino music festival in Mexico City, Saturday, March 17, 2018.
British singer and songwriter Morrissey, performs at the Vive Latino music festival in Mexico City, Saturday, March 17, 2018.

While the episode never directly references Morrissey, show director Debbie Mahan said in an Instagram post last week the episode was, "the most fun I’ve ever had working on an episode. My husband, who also works on the show, is an avid Smiths fan/collector, and was our resident Morrissey expert so it truly was a labour of love."

Episode writer Tim Long told Stereogum on Saturday Quilloughby is, "definitely Morrissey-esque," along with other artists like Robert Smith from the Cure and Ian Curtis from Joy Division.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Morrissey’s manager Peter Katsis told USA TODAY that he doesn't think Morrissey has seen the episode, but he found it to be hurtful.

“The show's whole line that the character is only loosely based on Morrissey seems like total (expletive). They said that to cover their (expletive)," Katsis said.

He also said the show went too far in its depiction and wondered why no media outlet is questioning Fox's mistreatment of Morrissey.

"When they say the Morrissey character gave up being a vegan because he heard foreigners invented it, and he hated foreigners more than meat, I mean that was at the point where they took it way beyond any notion of parody and made a totally heartless attack on the guy’s deepest beliefs,” Katsis added.

Katsis also responded to the episode on the artists' official Facebook early Monday morning, saying the show's writing has taken a turn for the worst and took a hit at the show's viewership ratings.

"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 said.

Katsis referenced actor Hank Azaria's recent apology on providing the voice of Indian character Apu, saying the role upheld "structural racism."

'It just didn’t feel right': Why Hank Azaria won't voice 'The Simpsons' controversial Apu

"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 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," he wrote.

"The Simpsons" declined to comment on the Facebook post.

The 61-year-old British singer has made comments defending actor Kevin Spacey over allegations of sexual abuse, saying he was "attacked unnecessarily". He has also worn a badge during performances for the far-right political group For Britain, which Katsis said was in support of their animal rights views.

'I'm proud of Apu': 'The Simpsons' creator Matt Groening reflects on 700 episodes, casting controversy

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'The Simpsons': Morrissey's manager responds to recent episode