A Morrissey fan has spoken out against his idol, claiming the singer has "stolen" their artwork and printed it on a T-shirt. It should also be pointed out that said item may well be the ugliest Morrissey shirt to ever grace a stadium's merch booth.
A post on fan site Morrissey-Solo includes a testimonial from a devotee by the username "Morrissey Gang" who claims that he'd been ripped off by Morrissey's merchandising team. The person's Twitter account describes him as a "lover of all things Morrissey" and features various Morrissey-related collages and art pieces. A related Etsy profile is attributed to an Amador Scarlett based out of Apple Valley, CA.
The image in question was a collage that utilized a previously existing photo of Mozzer with a 7-inch single placed onto his nethers, which was shot during the promo run behind 2009's Years of Refusal. The collage placed him into a picture with the British Royal Family, with the singer's hand covering Queen Elizabeth's mouth. A caption reads "Could life ever be sane again," which is a lyrics from the Smiths' "Panic."
Morrissey Gang says Morrissey's official Mporium store was in touch about using the image for a T-shirt and had hinted at compensation for the piece. It later turned out that an altered version using a different picture of the queen was used for a T-shirt being sold in-concert. You'll see a photo of the offending shirt up above, and pictures of it being sold at a UK concert down below.
"He asked for the high resolution file and asked how much I wanted for it. I told him that I spent a long time on it and that I had put my heart and soul into that photo, just like I do my other work and that I would be willing to let them use it, but to give me an offer," Morrissey Gang wrote, adding, "I wasn't thinking anything ridiculous, but he never got back to me. Instead I see they took my idea, almost exactly except for the background, and put it on a shirt."
The digital artist is apparently outraged over Morrissey's use of the image and was seeking advice from the rest of the Morrissey-Solo community over what to do about the situation.
"I don't know what to make out of this. Part of me is happy that it's out there this way, but another part is angry that they reach out to me in the beginning for my idea. I respond, and then they steal it. What do you guys think?"
Scarlett doesn't appear to possess the copyright for the original image, so there may not be much to do in a legal sense. Perhaps a more important question would be: who would actually buy this shirt?