The NME have had Morrissey in their cross-hairs for several decades now. The straw that broke the camel’s back for the former Smiths frontman is a 2007 interview he did with Tim Jonze for the magazine which he claims was heavily altered to accentuate and fabricate remarks he said that could be construed as racist, namely his complaints regarding “If you walk through Knightsbridge on any bland day of the week you won’t hear an English accent,” how the English identity has been “thrown away.”
Moz has claimed that this article has been a monkey on his back ever since, and is now in the process of taking the magazine to court. Whether he feels his inability to secure a record deal because of it is certainly a matter of debate but I personally don’t too much stock in that.
Today, the NME has released a statement in regards to the matter, which seems as if they’re trying to extinguish the situation before they have to deal with the annoyance of a legal battle which is still set for July.
“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’s doubtful that this will quash anything considering the website offered a previous apology on its website last month to which Morrissey responded that it was “disproportionate to the damage done to Morrissey by the NME magazine itself.” It is however possible that these statements could afford NME sympathy in the courts.
Check out this apt 1991 B-side while you choose sides.
Morrissey — “Journalists Who Lie”