Morrissey Controversy: Reject Morrissey? Debate on Free Speech and Music!
Morrissey has been a public presence for nearly 40 years, yet he is currently embroiled in scandal. His most recent development is that he, along with Slipknot, has been added to the Chicago lineup for Riot Fest to take the place of Nine Inch Nails, which has understandably infuriated the band’s fanbase.
When Morrissey performed at Riot Fest in 2016, many people were dissatisfied because his current political positions are antithetical to punk.
Fans were disappointed that Morrissey, a politically controversial artist on the right, would be taking the stage instead of Nine Inch Nails, whose music is viewed as left-leaning, progressive, and politically explosive. And yet, what really is the Morrissey controversy about? What became of the great guitarist who morphed into lea ad singer for The Smiths?
There Was a Time when Morrissey Wasn’t Controversial.
After his stint as the lead singer for The Smiths’, Morrissey became a household name. Morrissey’s ability to write songs that spoke to social outcasts and rejects helped those people feel less alone. According to “How Soon Is Now?,” I am the son and heir of a criminally vulgar shyness; I am the son and heir of nothing in particular. How could we fail to feel as if someone had just comprehended us?
A disagreement between Morrissey and Johnny Marr, the band’s guitarist, led to the dissolution of The Smiths in 1987, after they had been together for only five years.
Morrissey’s early remarks that reggae was “the most racist music in the entire world” and that he “detested… Black current music” were largely disregarded by the large fans he had carried with him from The Smiths to his solo career.
Morrissey Gained in Notoriety Over Time.
Provocative comments made by Morrissey were first meant to be ignored, but as he maintained his stance, it became increasingly impossible for his relatively liberal original audience to do so.
In 1992, at a gathering frequented by skinheads, he raised the Union Jack flag, a symbol of the far right at the time. A lot of his fans abandoned him after he began singing anti-immigration lyrics in his solo work, such as “Shelve your western plans and accept that life is hard enough when you belong here.”
Morrissey Has Continued to Stir up Controversy.
Morrissey’s unwavering support for For Britain is the ultimate straw, yet it amounts to the same thing as embracing Trump. That’s why it shouldn’t be shocking that he’s made a lot of controversial claims over the years, such as saying, “Everyone eventually prefers their own race” and slamming the #MeToo movement.
Morrissey’s defense of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and other prominent sex offenders in 2017 included various questionable remarks. “almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with youngsters if you go through the history,” he told the German publication, Der Spiegel. Why don’t we just throw the book at them?
Anthony Rapp Should Have Known What Was Going to Happen.
He continued by saying Spacey was “unnecessarily targeted” and that Anthony Rapp should have seen it coming. Regarding Weinstein, he said, “Those folks knew exactly what would happen [when they walked up to Weinstein’s hotel room] and they played along. Morrissey excels in placing blame on the victim without addressing the possibility that the offender may have abused their authority in both cases. “Either they felt ashamed or they didn’t enjoy it,” we were told.
The Most Hilarious Aspect of The Morrissey Saga
One of the funniest things about the Morrissey saga is the debate that his advocacy for animal rights has sparked. Animal rights are typically considered to be on the liberal side of politics, yet he uses them to critique halal procedures, a Muslim institution.
Festival-goers were not pleased by his demand that meat is removed from the menus of food sellers during the 2016 Riot Fest. On top of that, he forced vegetarianism on everyone else while lauding “free expression.”
In the words of one brave vendor, Puffs of Doom, whose head chef and owner are also vegetarians, Morrissey’s “meat decree” only hurt small businesses and resulted in food waste.
This was Riot Fest, so they made a “Pork Morrissey” sandwich to poke fun at the circumstances, and the joke went over well. Morrissey will once again feel like an outsider at a festival that promotes progressive causes.