Morrissey has been making right-wing reactionary statements for years, and he’s been going hard on them recently. Last week, various UK outlets carried a story about Morrissey showing his support for For Britain, an extremist-fringe right-wing political party in the UK. For Britain, founded in 2017, is a group that splintered off from UKIP, another right-wing party. The anti-Muslim activist Anne Marie Waters founded For Britain when she ran for UKIP leadership and lost. So For Britain exists for the people who were too racist for UKIP, which is already plenty racist. The former UKIP leader and Brexit-campaign architect Nigel Farage — the man who may have kicked off the global 2016 wave of nativist right-wing victories — once described Waters’ supporters as “Nazis and racists.” Morrissey loves her.
Last year, Morrissey endorsed For Britain in an interview on his own website: “Please give them a chance. Listen to them. Do not be influenced by the tyrannies of the MSM who will tell you that For Britain are racist or fascist — please believe me, they are the very opposite!!! Please do not close your mind.” Last week, while in the midst of his New York residency, Morrissey was photographed wearing a badge of For Britain’s trident logo, and the organization crowed about his support on their website.
Last night, Morrissey was the musical guest on The Tonight Show, his most visible moment in the mainstream American media in a long time. He was there to hype up California Son, his new album of covers, and he performed his version of “Morning Starship,” a 1973 song from the glam rocker Jobriath. (Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste guests on Morrissey’s album version, but he didn’t perform with him last night.) While performing, Morrissey again wore what appeared to be a For Britain pin. (It’s a little hard to make out, but it’s there.) Here’s the video:
Last night’s Tonight Show green room had to be a little weird. Morrissey was on the show with South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic presidential candidate who likes Spoon, and Milo Ventimiglia, the This Is Us star. Ventimiglia wore a Morrissey shirt and gushed to Jimmy Fallon about how much he loves Morrissey, even mentally considering the idea of getting Morrissey’s autograph tattooed on him:
It’s one of those things where I kind of feel like he raised me a little bit with his music. All of my friends, we would listen to the Smiths and Morrissey, and then we would quote them. You know, you just kind of casually pull out “I wear black on the outside because black is how I feel on the inside.”… When I was a kid, I wore my hair like Morrissey. I dressed like Morrissey. He kind of consumed my life.
It’s nice to know that Milo Ventimiglia was Jesse from Gilmore Girls in real life, too. Here’s Ventimiglia on Morrissey:
Naturally, Ventimiglia and Fallon did not comment on this guy’s support for the UK’s “too racist for the racists” fringe group. That’s not the Tonight Show way.