Morrissey Is Now Feuding With ‘The Simpsons’ In 2021’s Saddest Beef
In the immortal words of 'Alien Vs. Predator', whoever wins, we lose.
Turns out Kong vs. Godzilla isn’t 2021’s only struggle between two out-of-date cultural properties struggling for contemporary relevancy in an oversaturated content market: now The Simpsons and The Smiths lead singer Morrissey are involved in a battle of their own.
The debacle was kicked off by a recent episode of the long-running animated sitcom. Titled ‘Panic in the Streets of Springfield’ (itself a not so sly nod to one of the best-known Smiths songs), the episode depicts a haughty and isolated musician named Quilloughby who transforms from a committed campaigner for animal rights into a right-wing, racist toady.
Of course, that narrative arc will be extraordinarily well-known for anyone who has had their heart broken by Morrissey. Over the last ten years, the musician has gradually accentuated the nationalist flavour to his music, eventually becoming a full-blown British isolationist and arguing that “foreign forces” are watering down the country’s national character.
Shit sucks, basically. As, in fact, does The Simpsons episode. Rather than merely making fun of the singer’s transformation from sadsack to right-wing nutjob, the show also decided to poke fun at his weight, depicting him as obese and meat-obsessed.
For his part, Morrissey is predictably pissed by the show. As reported by The Guardian, his manager, Peter Katsis, has already responded.
“Surprising what a ‘turn for the worst’ the writing for The Simpsons TV show has taken in recent years,” Katsis wrote on Facebook. “Poking fun at subjects is one thing,” the statement continues, “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.”
Eugh. It’s like the hallowed words of the Alien vs. Predator tagline long ago foretold: whoever wins in this battle between two outmoded, once great properties, we lose.