NME Offers Apology to Morrissey Over Racist Controversy, Case Is Settled
NME has apologized to Morrissey alongside the lawsuit against the British music outlet that was scheduled to go to court next month. The former Smiths singer claims NME wrongfully portrayed him as a racist in an interview dating back five years ago, but now the case has been settled.
The publication interviewed Morrissey in 2007 and was quoted as saying, "The gates of England are flooded. The country's been thrown away ... Although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears."
Naturally, this didn't sit too well with Moz, and he filed a libel suit against the magazine. He claims that his words were twisted and that his reputation had been severely damaged ever since the interview was published. However, Morrissey didn't do himself any favors when he told The Guardian last year, "You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies" because of "their treatment of animals and animal welfare."
NME has formally apologized to Morrissey by posting the following on their website:
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.
Last month, the publication said it would apologize to the Lancashire, England native on its website but not in the magazine itself. Morrissey quickly dismissed NME's offer for a truce, stating it would be "disproportionate to the damage done to Morrissey by the NME magazine itself."
Since then, NME and Morrissey have reportedly reached a settlement. Music Week published the following statement from a representative from NME:
NME is pleased that it has buried the hatchet with Morrissey in respect of the libel case he brought against us in 2007.
Morrissey sued over an article based on interviews with him which he believed accused him of racism.
After an ongoing dialogue with Morrissey and his representatives, NME today publishes a clarification in the magazine and online which makes it clear that we do not believe we ever called Morrissey a racist and nor do we believe he is.
We have said sorry to Morrissey for any misunderstanding that may have arisen.
The settlement with Morrissey does not involve payment of any damages or legal costs (other than a small sum of costs which the court ordered NME to pay last year when we applied unsuccessfully to have the case struck out on grounds of delay).
The libel suit hearing was originally scheduled for July 16-19 in London's High Court.