As the lead singer of The Smiths and a beloved solo performer, Morrissey has created some of the most indelible, innovative music of the modern rock era. Throughout his long career, there has been no shortage of crazy but true Morrissey stories, proving once again that rock stars just seem to have a lot more fun than the rest of us. Not that these 100% true tales about Morrissey are necessarily fun; in fact, many of them are galling at best, and downright offensive - or in some other way, problematic at worst.
Morrissey has never shied away from controversy. He is known for being a Grade-A Drama Queen and for speaking his mind, even when sharing his thoughts was perhaps not the smartest or most advisable move. He also has some peculiar habits that make for an... interesting personality but not the most stable or dependable public image.
As if Morrissey even cares. He has built a career on being a true original, and we as fans can either choose to love him or leave him. Controversy, it seems, it just part of the total Moz package.
Keep reading to learn about some of the craziest things Morrissey has done.
In 2011, a mass shooting in Norway left 77 people dead and rocked a nation unaccustomed to such large-scale human tragedy, especially tragedy caused by guns. Morrissey wasted little time before attempting to draw a comparison between what happened in Norway and what happens in fast food restaurants.
"We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Norway have shown, with 97 [sic] dead," he said. "Though that is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Sh*t every day." Just to make this clear: Morrissey was likening the mass slaughter of children to buying a two piece and a biscuit from KFC.
The Harvey Weinstein scandal and its subsequent fallout has been a watershed moment in our history, a time when women are standing up and revealing the monstrous underside of our supposedly civil, male-dominated society. This is a pivotal opportunity to have hard conversations that are long overdue. But let's not look to Morrissey to be involved in this discussion. In November of 2017, Moz said in regard to Weinstein that the alleged victims "know exactly what's going on. And they play along... But if everything went well, and if it had given them a great career, they would not talk about it...I hate rape. I hate attacks. I hate sexual situations that are forced on someone. But in many cases one looks at the circumstances and thinks that the person who is considered a victim is merely disappointed."
In referencing the Kevin Spacey sexual abuse allegations, Morrissey elaborated on his victim-blaming:
"As far as I know, he was in a bedroom with a 14-year-old. Kevin Spacey was 26, boy 14. One wonders where the boy’s parents were. One wonders if the boy did not know what would happen. I do not know about you, but in my youth I have never been in situations like this. Never. I was always aware of what could happen. When you are in somebody’s bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to. That’s why it does not sound very credible to me. It seems to me that Spacey has been attacked unnecessarily."
Morrissey has never been shy about expressing his pro-animal views. An avowed vegan and animal activist, his commitment to our four-legged friends is admirable. What's not so admirable, however, is Moz's militancy where it concerns animals, and he's infamous for misplacing his rage at the wrong targets. Case in point: Beyonce. In March of 2013, he blamed Bey for the extinction of the rhino. The reason? She had a rhino-skin handbag. Oh, Moz; there are much more appropriate fish to fry (pardon the phrase) in this crusade.
In another incident stemming from his in-your-face, pro-animal stance, Morrissey insulted an entire nation because of their shady history when it comes to animal issues. Granted, China has long had some disturbing policies and practices regarding animals, and these are issues that deserve to be called out - in a proper way that invites dialogue, not in the slandering of an entire people. In September of 2010, Morrissey called animal welfare in China "absolutely horrific." He went on: "You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies."