British music magazine NME has publicly apologized to Morrissey for a 2007 article that the singer claims unfairly suggested he was racist.
In a statement released today, NME wrote: “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.”
Morrissey filed a libel suit after he claimed that the 2007 interview with the magazine — titled “Morrissey: Big Mouth Strikes Again” — portrayed him as racist. In the interview, Morrissey explained to writer Tim Jonze why he doesn’t live in England anymore. “Although I don’t have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England, the more the British identity disappears. So the price is enormous.”
“If you travel to Germany, it’s still absolutely Germany,” he added. “If you travel to Sweden, it still has a Swedish identity. But travel to England and you have no idea where you are.”
After the interview’s publication, Morrissey accused NME of misconstruing his words to make him sound racist and anti-immigration. Jonze later claimed that NME editors rewrote much of the article, and he asked that his name be removed from the piece.
In October, Morrissey won a pre-trial hearing against former NME editor Conor McNicholas and publisher IPC.
Morrissey was poised to take his libel suit before a jury in July. However, an NME spokeswoman told BBC that the magazine was “pleased it has buried the hatchet” with the singer. She also added that the libel case is now closed.
By Crystal Bell