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Morrissey is not one to hold his tongue.
The British singer and former frontman of The Smiths has become as well-known for his public outbursts and politically incorrect musings as for the languid melodies and acerbic lyrics that made him a pop music icon.
So it was only a matter of time before Morrissey stepped into the #MeToo debate to give his take on the harassment scandals, and outraged backlash against it, that have been thrashing through Hollywood since the first allegations of abuse emerged against disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein just over a month ago.
In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, published this weekend, Morrissey appeared to defend Weinstein and others, including Kevin Spacey, who have been accused of abuse, including sexual assault.
“I hate rape, I hate assault, I hate people being forced into a sexual situation,” the magazine quoted Morrissey as saying. “But in quite a few cases, you look at the situation and think that the people being described as victims are simply disappointed. In the whole history of rock ‘n’ roll there’ve been musicians who’ve slept with groupies. If you go through the history, almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with minors. Why don’t we throw everyone in jail?”
Morrissey said it was “laughable” that filmmaker Ridley Scott, in response to multiple allegations of abuse against Spacey, cut the actor out of his upcoming feature All the Money in the World, and will reshoot Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer.
Speaking directly to the allegations, made by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp that Spacey tried to seduce him when Spacey was 26 and Rapp was 14, Morrissey came close to blaming the victim: “You have to ask, where were the boy’s parents. You ask yourself, if the boy didn’t know what could happened. I don’t know what it was like for him but in my youth I was never in a situation like that. Never. It was always clear to me what could happen. If you’re in someone’s bedroom, you have to know where it could lead. That’s why I don’t find the whole thing very believable. It seems to me Spacey has been unnecessarily attacked.”
Morrissey made a similar argument in regard to Weinstein and the now dozens of women who have come forward accusing the producer of abuse.
“Those people knew exactly what would happen [when they went up to Weinstein’s hotel room], and they played along,” he said. “Afterwards they were embarrassed or they didn’t enjoy it. And then they turn it around and say: ‘I was attacked, I was surprised, I was pulled into the room.’ But if everything went well, and it helped them to a big career, they wouldn’t be talking about it.”
For the record, Morrissey said he had “never, never, never” been in a similar situation, either as abuser or abused, in his life or career.
The Spiegel interview was originally published in German.
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