US actor Michael Imperioli has compared Morrissey’s situation in the music industry to that of the late Irish singer Sinead O’Connor.
The funeral of the ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ singer was held in her hometown of Bray, County Wicklow on Tuesday (August 8) after she died on July 26 at the age of 56.
O’Connor rose to worldwide fame in 1990 with her famous Prince cover; However, she had a difficult relationship with fame and was often criticized for her open views.
Morrissey has faced accusations of bigotry and racism throughout his career.
The White Lotus Star Imperioli, who is also a guitarist and vocalist for the band Zopa, was asked about his love for the former Smiths frontman in a reader Q&A interview for The guard.
“He’s uncompromising and very true to his art and to himself,” said the actor. “For me, as a lyricist, he’s on par with Bob Dylan and Lou Reed: his intelligence, his wit and his perspective.
“I thought what he wrote about Sinead O’Connor was spot on and brilliant – how easily she was let down by the music industry. He was, too,” added Imperioli.
In a diatribe published on his website after O’Connor’s death, Morrissey wrote that “the cruel playpen of fame today bubbles with praise for Sinead”.
“She was dropped from her label after selling seven million albums for her. She went mad, yes, but uninteresting, never. She had done nothing wrong,” he wrote.
“…You’re ONLY praising her now because it’s too late. You didn’t have the courage to support her when she was alive and looking for you.”
After being criticized in 2019 for his support of Britain’s far-right anti-Islam party For Britain, Morrissey discussed the issue in a controversial interview, in which he said: “Everyone prefers their own race.”
In 2020, the singer claimed he was “discontinued” from his former record label, BMG. Earlier this year, he claimed that Capitol Records was prioritizing Sam Smith’s “Satanism” over the promotion of his latest album Teenage bonfires.
“I’m not sure how racist the things he said were,” Imperioli said The guard Interview. “To me, they weren’t overtly racist. I’ve never met Morrissey but I know a lot of people in the current band and people who have played with him in the past who are very smart and the least racist people imaginable.
“They are adamant that racism is not part of what it is, not at all. I still give him the benefit of the doubt. I know a lot of people don’t do that, but somehow I do it anyway.”
He concluded: “As an artist, given what he’s done, he should always have the perks of a label promoting him. I find [his situation] is similar [to O’Connor’s] in many ways.”