The Simpsons recently struck a chord with former Smiths frontman Morrissey, whose manager Peter Katsis chewed out the long-running Fox animated series for “trying to capitalize on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors.”
Late Sunday evening, Katsis shared a lengthy post on the singer’s official Facebook page responding to the show’s “Panic on the Streets of Springfield” episode, which aired on Sunday. It saw Lisa Simpson create an imaginary friend named Quilloughby, who leads the band The Snuffs. Voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, Quilloughby is a “depressed British singer from the 1980s” who may resemble the former frontman of The Smiths. While The Simpsons character may even look like the British rocker, the episode even features Morrissey-esque songs written by Flight of the Conchords‘ Bret McKenzie and Tim Long.
“Panic on the Streets of Springfield” kicks off with Lisa going out on the town with her new imaginary friend and closes with Lisa seeing the real Quilloughby onstage. Far from what she envisioned, Quilloughby has gained weight, become greedy and has developed a penchant for racist and problematic comments.
Displeased with the episode, Katsis blasted its depiction of Morrissey.
“Poking fun at subjects is one thing. Other shows like SNL still do a great job at finding ways to inspire great satire,” the post read. “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. 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.”
Katsis expressed even more dismay with the final depictions of the Morrissey-inspired character and defended the real singer from the cartoon.
“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 supporter for animal rights,” Katsis wrote. “By suggesting all of the above in this episode…the Simpson’s [sic] hypocritical approach to their storyline says it all.”
See the full Facebook post below.