Morrissey’s Manager Peter Katsis Bashes ‘The Simpsons’ For TV Show’s Portrayal
Manager for Morrissey, the former frontman of The Smiths, blasted The Simpsons for the way they portrayed his client in their episode on Sunday.
Peter Katsis wrote a searing post on Morrissey’s Facebook page after the episode “Panic on the Streets of Springfield,” aired over the character Quilloughby, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
“Surprising what a ‘turn for the worst’ the writing for The Simpson‘s [sic] tv show has taken in recent years,” read the post. “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.”
In the episode, Lisa Simpson becomes obsessed with the vegan British musician, Quilloughby, who is lead singer of the band, The Snuffs. Quilloughby becomes Lisa’s imaginary friend and inspires her. At the end of the episode, Lisa goes to Guilloughby’s concert, but ends up disappointing when she finds out he’s a selfish, snobby, meat-eating xenophobe.
Tim Long, who wrote the episode, told Stereogum that the character was a mix of various U.K. ’80s musicians. But he’s “definitely Morrissey-esque, with maybe a small dash of Robert Smith from the Cure, Ian Curtis from Joy Division, and a bunch of other people.”
Show director Debbie Mahan said in an Instagram post that the episode was, “the most fun I’ve ever had working on an episode. My husband, who also works on the show, is an avid Smiths fan/collector, and was our resident Morrissey expert so it truly was a labour of love.”
Katsis critiqued the overall portrayal of his client.
“Poking fun at subjects is one thing,” his post reads. “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. 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.”
Katsis referenced Hank Azaria‘s recent apology about playing the stereotypical Indian character Apu on the show.
“Simpson‘s actor Hank Azaria’s recent apology to the whole country of India for his role in upholding ‘structural racism’ says it all,” Katsis writes.
“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,” he continues. “By suggesting all of the above in this episode… the Simpson‘s hypocritical approach to their storyline says it all.”