Star slams Simpsons for ‘hateful’ parody


Singer Morrissey was not charmed by the most recent episode of The Simpsons.

After a parody of the '80s music icon and The Smiths frontman aired on the long-running cartoon, Morrissey's manager blasted The Simpsons as "hypocritical," "unapologetically hurtful and racist" in a lengthy post to the singer's Facebook page, Yahoo reports.

While The Simpsons didn't specifically call out Morrissey, all of the clues were there. Last night's episode, titled "Panic on the Streets of Springfield," featured a plot line in which an 8-year-old Lisa discovers the music of "moody post-punk" artist Quilloughby (Benedict Cumberbatch, with music from Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie) on the streaming service Slapify.


Singer Morrissey has slammed this Simpsons parody.
Singer Morrissey has slammed this Simpsons parody.

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Led to Quilloughby by a link that read "If you hate everything, you might like this," Lisa quickly falls in love with everything about Quilloughby and his band, The Snuffs, who "dominated the '80s indie scene with their brand of literate, sardonic music that focused on Quilloughby's obsessions, especially his militant vegetarianism."

After taking Quilloughby on as her imaginary friend, Lisa brings him with her to see Springfield's Bummershoot Festival, where The Snuffs are performing for the first time in decades. Lisa and the younger version of Quilloughby watch in horror at his future self, who in 2021 says that he's only bringing his band back together as a "cash grab." He admits, "I lost my fortune suing people for saying things about me… that were completely true," and dismisses veganism as "invented by foreigners, of whom there are far too many on this planet!"


Lisa Simpson and her imaginary friend, “Quilloughby.”
Lisa Simpson and her imaginary friend, “Quilloughby.”

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His character adds, "That's right, I hate the foreign! Coming to this country and taking our jobs! Sleeping with our men!" and performs from his solo album, Refugees? Again? The Quilloughby of the '80s is appalled. "Is this what I turned into? I'm greedy, I'm hateful, and my face looks like a syphilitic moon!" he says.

In response to last night's episode, Morrissey's manager Peter Katsis called out The Simpsons for "trying to capitalize on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors" in a statement published on Morrissey's official Facebook page. He added, "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.


Morrissey in his 80s heyday...
Morrissey in his 80s heyday...



"Even worse - calling the Morrissey character out for being a racist, without pointing out any specific instances, offers nothing," he continued. "It only serves to insult the artist … Unlike the character in the Simpsons' '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."

Although The Simpsons has not responded to Morrissey's statement, scriptwriter Tim Long said ahead of the episode that the Quilloughby character was not inspired by one musician, but was rather "Morrissey-esque, with maybe a small dash of Robert Smith from the Cure, Ian Curtis from Joy Division, and a bunch of other people," per Stereogum.



This story originally appeared on Decider and is republished here with permission.

Originally published as Star slams Simpsons for 'hateful' parody