Fox's long-running animated sitcom The Simpsons is generating some controversy once again, this time with the manager of the British singer Morrissey. On the latest episode of the cartoon, titled "Panic on the Streets of Springfield," Benedict Cumberbatch guest starred as a Morrissey-inspired character named Quilloughby, a depressed singer from the 80s who becomes Lisa's imaginary best friend.
The episode also featured parody songs in Morrissey's style that were co-written by Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords. In an Instagram post, McKenzie spoke about the inspiration for the music by writing, "During the madness of 2020 I worked very remotely on an episode of The Simpsons. I wrote some 80's pop songs with my friend [Tim Long], woke up at 3am in New Zealand to record the sultry crooning of #benedictcumberbatch in London and zoomed a few sweet harmonies in LA with [Yeardley Smith]."
Following the episode, an anti-Simpsons rant was posted on the official Facebook page for Morrissey. At the time, fans believed that Morrissey himself had taken to Facebook to deliver the vicious rant, but the singer's manager Peter Katsis clarified in a follow-up post that he had written the message. In any case, Katsis wasn't happy at all with the way The Simpsons introduced a character spoofing his client, as is evident from the original post.
"Surprising what a 'turn for the worst' the writing for The Simpson's tv show has taken in recent years. Sadly, The Simpson's show started out creating great insight into the modern cultural experience, but has since degenerated to trying to capitalize on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors."
"Poking fun at subjects is one thing. Other shows like SNL 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."
Katsis also takes exception with The Simpsons seemingly calling out Morrissey for being a racist, pointing to Hank Azaria's recent apology for playing Apu as an indication of hypocrisy.
"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. They should take that mirror and hold it up to themselves. Simpson's actor Hank Azaria's recent apology to the whole country of India for his role in upholding "structural racism" says it all."
Finally, Katsis stresses more of the differences he sees between Morrissey and the Simpsons parody character while taking another parting shot at the series.
"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. Not surprising...... that The Simpsons viewership ratings have gone down so badly over recent years."
As of now, The Simpsons team hasn't officially commented on the rant against the show posted by Morrissey's manager. You can check out the original post at the official Facebook page for Morrissey.