It certainly caught Morrissey off-guard, as the singer - best known for fronting 1980s band The Smiths, for his militant stance on animal rights and more recently, for his questionable political views - has responded to being parodied on the show.

The episode - titled 'Panic on the Streets of Springfield', a reference to the Smiths song 'Panic' - introduced the character of Quilloughby, a vegetarian who fronts a band called The Snuffs and is voiced by actor Benedict Cumberbatch. When Lisa discovers his music, he begins appearing to her in imaginary form, although in his 1980s guise. There are even original Quilloughby songs in the episode, written by Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement.

When Lisa later has a chance to attend a Snuffs reunion gig, she is disappointed to learn that he has become an overweight racist who now eats meat. "I was [a vegan], until I found out veganism was invented by foreigners, for whom there are far too many on this planet,” the character says.

Needless to say, the portrayal has not gone down well in the Morrissey camp. His manager Peter Katsis first issued a statement in response, taking umbrage with the accusations of racism and decrying The Simpsons' "harshly hateful tactics " and accusing the show of hypocrisy, given Hank Azaria's recent apology for voicing the character of Apu.

Surprising what a “turn for the worst" the writing for The Simpson’s tv show has taken in recent years.

Sadly, The...

Posted by Morrissey Official on Sunday, 18 April 2021

Now, Morrissey himself has issued a lengthy statement on the matter, saying "The hatred shown towards me from the creators of The Simpsons is obviously a taunting lawsuit, but one that requires more funding than I could possibly muster in order to make a challenge."

He adds: "Since my very first interview several decades ago I have lived with horrible accusations to such a degree that it is generally understood that 'this is how we write about Morrissey'. In other words, I'm quite used to it. I've had enough horror thrown at me that would kill off a herd of bison. Accusations usually come from someone with a crazed desire for importance; they don't operate at a very high level. Writing for The Simpsons, for example, evidently requires only complete ignorance. "

Read the full statement here.