Morrissey accused over comment
Published 03/09/2010 | 22:28
Morrissey has been accused of "crude racism" after describing Chinese people as a "subspecies" because of their treatment of animals.
The controversial singer, a well-known vegetarian and animal rights campaigner, said the treatment of Chinese circus animals was "absolutely horrific".
He told poet Simon Armitage in an interview in Guardian Weekend magazine: "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."
Last year the former Smiths frontman, whose old band released an album entitled Meat Is Murder, quit the Coachella festival in California, complaining about the smell of meat cooking.
In a 2006 interview he said he supported "the efforts of the Animal Rights Militia in England".
A spokesman for campaign group Love Music Hate Racism, which received a donation of £28,000 from the star in 2008, said it would not accept his support again.
Martin Smith said: "It really is just crude racism.
"When you start using language like 'subspecies', you are entering into dark and murky water. I don't think we would, or could, ask him to come back after that."
Armitage said he thought the singer must have known his remark "would make waves". He said: "But he's provocative and theatrical, and it was one of dozens of dramatic pronouncements. I'm not an apologist for that kind of remark, and couldn't ignore it. But clearly, when it comes to animal rights and animal welfare, he's absolutely unshakeable in his beliefs; in his view, if you treat an animal badly, you are less than human. I think that was his point."
:: The full interview can be read in Guardian Weekend magazine tomorrow.