Published Apr 03, 2008UK magazine Word apologised in court to Morrissey this morning for pegging the songwriter as a racist. The allegations against the publication by Morrissey stemmed from a recent review of his Greatest Hits collection in its March 2008 issue. The closing paragraph of the review echoed the claims of racism on Morrisseys part previously printed in the December 1, 2007, issue of NME a defamatory move that is still the subject of ongoing libel proceedings.
Here is the offending Word review in full:
What vexes me is that once Morrissey made music that talked about the underdog, the victim, and those in the minority. Now he makes music that excludes those people. The odd song about a Mexican gang member and a lonely lesbian doesn't disguise the fact that he's quite happy to dismiss a whole chunk of the population as people who, to use the nasty phrase from [Viva Hate's] 'Bengali in Platforms', don't belong here.
Never mind that he's the 2008 equivalent of a '70s rock exile, opining about a country he only really knows from a Knightsbridge hotel window or a cab to Wembley Stadium. Never mind that as the child of an immigrant parent he really should know better than to attack immigration (which is, you ignorant quiffy rock exile, what keeps this country from being a Royal Family-led NF [National Front] tourist park).
For his waving of the flag (for publicity too, it would seem), for his ingrained habit of paying lip service to anti-racism while talking like an old Tory immigration spokesman, and for his abandonment of everything that made the Smiths a band for outsiders, Morrissey should be ashamed of himself. Sadly, he never will be.
In court, Word tried its best to do damage control, with a section of its apology to Morrissey reading: "The defendants never intended the article to have the meanings suggested above and wish to make absolutely clear that they disassociate themselves entirely from any such inferences that might be drawn from the article. The defendants accept that it would be absurd to accuse Mr. Morrissey of being a racist or of espousing racist views.
And while Morrissey accepted the apology, he made it clear that the battle with NME is far from over. "I am obviously delighted with this victory and the clearing of my name in public where it is loud and clear for all to hear, he said. "The NME have calculatedly tried to damage my integrity and to label me as a racist in order to boost their diminishing circulation. Word magazine made the mistake of repeating those allegations, which they now accept are false and, as a result, have apologised in open court. I will now continue to pursue my legal action against the NME and its editor until they do the same."