Singer takes aim at talkshow host after refusing to appear alongside cast members from duck-hunting reality TV show
The battle began on Monday, the day before Morrissey was booked to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live. In a press statement, the singer said he could not “morally be on a television programme” also featuring cast members from the duck-hunting reality show Duck Dynasty. “As far as my reputation is concerned, I can’t take the risk of being on a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers,” said Morrissey, 53, who has been a vegetarian since he was a child.
Kimmel’s producers responded by bidding farewell to the singer, booking the band Churchill to replace him. “While I respect [Morrissey’s] stance on this, I really do,” Kimmel told his viewers, “there’s a very good reason why I didn’t dump the Duck Dynasty guys for [him] – and it’s because they have guns.” Morrissey, Kimmel added, “keeps finding new ways to depress us”.
Adding salt to the wound, Kimmel also broadcast a comedy sketch featuring Duck Dynasty’s Robertson family. The duck-call tycoons demonstrated so-called “yuppie-food” innovations like “carrot calls” and “broccoli traps”.
On Wednesday, Morrissey struck back. “Tune in [to Jimmy Kimmel Live] and relive the intellectual fog of the 1950s,” he said. “[Last night] our smiling host managed to ridicule depression (70% of Americans [have experienced depression] according to the National Institute of Mental Health). He then found time to ridicule healthy eating (the obesity epidemic in the US costs $147bn per year in medical expenditure), and he also ridiculed the notion that animals should be entitled to the possession of their own lives. Furthermore, he found time to jokingly promote gun-ownership – hugely amusing for the parents at Sandy Hook, no doubt.
“He also promoted his special guests Duck Dynasty – who kill beings for fun,” Morrissey continued. “None of the above issues are, of course, as important as Jimmy Kimmel himself, who has finally revealed his show to have an overwhelming loss of meaning.”
After postponing several US concerts owing to a bleeding ulcer, the singer resumed his tour last night, in San Diego. He is due to play Los Angeles’ Staples Centre on Friday, where promoters have debated whether they will honour Morrissey’s demand that the venue be meat-free.