NME has posted an article today from their website publicly apologising after Morrissey claimed they twisted his words in an interview posted in 2007 resulting in him sounding racist.
In the interview in question, Morrissey states: “the higher the influx [of non-British people] into England the more the British identity disappears”, a remark he believes was taken out of context and misconstrued to act as a hook for the article titled ‘Morrissey: Big Mouth Strikes Again’. The former Smiths’ frontman retaliated with a deformation claim against the UK media index.
The official statement from NME reads:
In December 2007, we published an article entitled ‘Morrissey: Big mouth strikes again’.
Following this, Morrissey began proceedings for libel against us. His complaint is that we accused him of being a racist off the back of an interview which he gave to the magazine. He believes the article was edited in such a way that made him seem reactionary.
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.
It has been argued that the large gap between the incident and the law suit shows how frivolous the case is. It’s looking as though an agreement has been made that if NME recants their article, Morrissey will discontinue his proceedings for libel, though we will have to see how it plays out from here.