Morrissey, the sharp-tongued former Smiths frontman, has been accused of “crude racism” after describing Chinese people as a “subspecies” because of their treatment of animals.
The animal rights campaigner and strict vegetarian made the comment in an interview with Britain’s Guardian, describing the country’s attitude to animal rights as “horrific”.
Responding to a news article detailing Chinese circuses and zoos, Morrissey told The Guardian, “Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a sub-species.”
It’s not the first time the singer has made been outspoken about other races.
In 2007 he told the NME, “The gates of England are flooded. The country’s been thrown away.”
He described Britain as “a terribly negative place”.
“Also, with the issue of immigration, it’s very difficult, because although I don’t have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England, the more the British identity disappears,” he added.
“England is a memory now. The change in England is so rapid compared to the change in any other country.
“If you walk through Knightsbridge on any bland day of the week you won’t hear an English accent. You’ll hear every accent under the sun apart from the British accent.”
He later issued a statement after the article was published, saying: “I abhor racism and oppression or cruelty of any kind and will not let this pass without being absolutely clear and emphatic with regard to what my position is,” he said.
“Racism is beyond common sense and I believe it has no place in our society.”
Morrissey’s latest comments have infuriated heads at the Love Music Hate Racism campaign group, to which Morrissey donated £28,000 in 2008.
Spokesperson Martin Smith said it would not accept the singer’s support again.
“When you start using language like ’sub-species’, you are entering into dark and murky water,” he said.
“I don’t think we would, or could, ask him to come back after that.”
You can read Morrissey’s Guardian interview in full here.
What do you think of Morrissey’s comments?