Last month, in an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegl, Morrissey defended both Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey against charges of sexual abuse and harassment: “In many cases, one looks at the circumstances and thinks that the person referred to as a victim is merely disappointed.” (He also made similar comments in an interview with The Sunday Times.) After Morrissey released a statement claiming that Der Spiegl misquoted him, the newspaper released the audio of the interview. And now, Morrissey has shared a video statement in which he claims that the release of his new album Low In High School has been “derailed and damaged purposely” by Der Spiegl and other “haters” in the press.
Speaking for eight minutes on a video uploaded to his nephew’s YouTube account, Morrissey bemoans both his low chart positioning and the lack of airplay for his recent singles, saying, “I suspect it’s because of the hateful press I’ve received over the last three weeks in Britain.” He goes onto describe what he sees as the effect of the recent stories about him:
Suddenly, I was sympathizing with sexual harassment. I was apparently sympathizing with pedophilia, I was sympathizing with rape, I was sympathizing with everything that would persuade anybody on the planet to stop listening to me. Of course, none of those assumptions are true. I do not sympathize with anything like that. You can hear it in the tone of my voice…
However, this is the world we now live in with the print media. It seems to me that, in the first place, they get very angry or very excited if you stop to say something that people are listening to or that reflect the will of the people. They get very nervous. They won’t allow it. They shut it down and so forth.
But also, it seems to me that, in England at the moment, the right wing has adopted a left wing stance, and the left wing has adopted a right wing stance, so everybody’s confused, and nobody seems to know what people mean. This shuts down free speech. This shuts down any open debate about anything. And consequently, we’re all in a mess, and we don’t know where we stand.
So I fear that the campaign for Low In High School and for the surrounding singles was derailed and damaged purposely by the haters. They’re not listening to the music. They’re not listening to anything, really. They see my name, and they want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. And as I said, in many ways, they do succeed. There’s not really that much you can do about it. You have to live with it…
Morrissey also thanks the American audiences who came to his shows on his recent tour, and he claims that the Secret Service cross-examined him over comments in Der Spiegl about wanting to kill Donald Trump:
As a further resort of Der Spiegl, I was cross-examined by the American Secret Service, who were very, very nice. And I do understand their position. So that went very, very well, and they assured me that they have no cause for concern. But it was a direct result of Der Spiegl that I was cross-examined, which is very, very sad. So congratulations, Der Spiegl. You achieved everything that you set out to do. Whether again I’m allowed free access to America, I really don’t know. I have to wait and see if I can enter the country again.
And Morrissey seems to see the attacks on him as part of a greater societal problem:
Nobody has any answers. Everybody is very, very frightened about everything. So by being frightened about everything, you simply target people, willingly, about whom you know nothing. And you write things about people whom you’ve never met, and you denigrate them and destroy them because there’s a certain blame and shame culture that has arisen, where all of us are destroyed constantly, no matter what we do.
At no point does Morrissey ever consider the idea that he said something terrible or that people might be justifiably pissed at him. Here’s the video: