Getty The documentary "Searching For Sugar Man" received the Oscar for Best…
- Posted on Sep 6th 2010 5:30AM by Matt Glazebrook
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The full quote was: "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 subspecies."
This is not the first time that Morrissey has courted controversy with apparently xenophobic or racist remarks, though it is the most overtly provocative of his pronouncements on the subject. In his early solo career, the Manchester-born performer was criticised by music critics and others for songs such as 'Bengali in Platforms' -- which focuses on an immigrant character and includes the oft-cited lyric "Bengali, Bengali / Oh, shelve your Western plans / And understand / That life is hard enough when you belong here" -- and 'National Front Disco.'
Around the period of the latter track, which appeared on 1992's 'Your Arsenal' and somewhat ambiguously commemorates a protagonist who has joined the titular '70s and '80s far right group, the NME ran a long feature asking if Morrissey was "flirting with disaster" -- citing the aforementioned songs and others, the singer's use of the Union Jack and skinhead imagery on stage and in photos, and interview quotes such as "all reggae is vile."
In 2008, Morrissey donated £28,000 to the Love Music Hate Racism campaign after sparking more controversy with an NME interview in which he opined on immigration using inflammatory phrases like "England is a memory now" and "the gates are flooded". With this latest statement, however, the anti-racism group has disavowed the iconic vocalist.
"It really is just crude racism," said spokesperson Martin Smith. "When you start using language like 'subspecies', you are entering into dark and murky water. I don't think we would, or could, ask him to come back after that."