NME Publicly Apologizes For Calling Morrissey Racist
UK’s NME yesterday posted an online apology to Morrissey after the singer claimed that an article they published in 2007 portrayed the ex-Smiths frontman as a racist.
The original article, entitled ‘Morrissey: Big Mouth Strikes Again’, featured several remarks from the singer about the UK’s immigration policies, which Morrissey claims were “deliberately twisted” and taken out of context.
The particular comments quoted the former Smiths star as saying “although I don’t have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears.” Adding that, “the gates of England are flooded. The country’s been thrown away.”
Morrissey then responded with a defamation claim seeking libel damages against the magazine‘s then-editor, Conor McNicholas, and its publisher, IPC Media. Stating that the publication had “deliberately tried to characterise me as a racist… in order to boost their dwindling circulation.” Adding that “I abhor racism and oppression or cruelty of any kind and will not let this pass without being absolutely clear and emphatic.”
It’s been a few years since the singer first launched legal action, and several months since Britain’s most senior libel judge passed a jury trial on the defamation case, but it was only until now that the UK magazine has officially responded.
NME’s online statement reads:
In December 2007, we published an article entitled ‘Morrissey: Big mouth strikes again’.
Following this, Morrissey began proceedings for libel against us. His complaint is that we accused him of being a racist off the back of an interview which he gave to the magazine. He believes the article was edited in such a way that made him seem reactionary.
We wish to make clear that we do not believe that he is a racist; we didn’t think we were saying he was and we apologise to Morrissey if he or anyone else misunderstood our piece in that way. We never set out to upset Morrissey and we hope we can both get back to doing what we do best
It seems that the apology has been accepted. Only hours after the online statement was issued, the BBC reported that the libel case, that was due to go to trial next month, has now been closed and settled without payment of any damages or legal costs.
A representative of the magazine said that NME were “pleased it has buried the hatchet” with Morrissey.