An NME apology to Morrissey, the English musician and lyricist, managed to end a libel case the rocker had started against the publication. The rocker, whose real name is Steven Patrick Morrissey, felt NME made him sound like a racist.
The NME apology to Morrissey came nearly five years after they ran an article called "Morrissey: Big Mouth Strikes Again" in which the singer's opinions about the "British identity" seemed highly controversial. After the article was published, Morrissey began his libel charge, winning a pre-trial hearing last October. To avoid the jury trial scheduled for July, the magazine issued a statement.
"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," wrote NME online. "We never set out to upset Morrissey and we hope we can both get back to what we do best."
In the 2007 article, written by writer Tim Jonze, Morrissey was explaining why he no longer lived in England when he said statements he later felt were misconstrued. Others were heavily altered, and in some cases fabricated, he claimed.
"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," said the 53-year-old singer. "If you travel to Germany, it's still absolutely Germany. If you travel to Sweden, it still has a Swedish identity. But travel to England and you have no idea where you are."
"If you walk through Knightsbridge on any bland day of the week you won't hear an English accent," Morrissey allegedly complained, saying that the country's identity had been "thrown away."
While Morrissey was born and raised in England, he moved to Los Angeles in the 1990s after his successful stint with band The Smiths. Ever since then, accusations of racism have haunted him; songs like "Bengali in Platforms" and "Asian Rut" only added to the controversy.
While discussing animal cruelty in China in a 2010 interview with The Guardian, Morrissey said that "you can't help but feel the Chinese are a sub-species," which led to organizations like Love Music Hate Racism publicly scorning him.
Since NME's apology to the English singer for their article, the libel case has been closed.