[lastfm]Morrissey[/lastfm] has ignited yet another racism row following some emotional comments towards the Chinese during an interview. The outspoken former [lastfm]Smiths[/lastfm] frontman was being interviewed by the poet Simon Armitage for the Guardian Weekend magazine when the topic turned to animal rights, leading the singer to call the Chinese “a subspecies” for their alleged cruelty to animals.
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.’