Morrissey has fired back at comedian Jimmy Kimmel for mocking him on TV for pulling out of a performance on his late-night show, accusing the host of making fun of gun control, depression and obesity.
The former The Smiths star, a fervent anti-meat activist, pulled the plug on Tuesday's scheduled appearance on the show after learning Kimmel's fellow guests would be the stars of duck hunting reality show Duck Dynasty.
In a statement released on Monday, the Suedehead singer wrote, "As far as my reputation is concerned, I can't take the risk of being on a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers. If Jimmy cannot dump Duck Dynasty then we must step away."
Kimmel refused to axe his reality TV guests and instead used them to mock Morrissey on the show he abandoned. The TV host said, "There's a very good reason why I didn't dump the Duck Dynasty guys for Morrissey, and it's because they have guns," adding, "He (Morrissey) keeps finding new ways to depress us."
Kimmel then introduced a skit, which promoted a Duck Dynasty spin-off especially for vegans. However, Morrissey was not amused, and he has now taken aim at Kimmel, insisting his attempt at humor was insensitive.
The rocker has issued a statement which reads: "I was disappointed with last night's Jimmy Kimmel Show wherein our smiling host managed to ridicule depression (70 per cent of Americans have experienced depression according to the National Institute of Mental Health). He then found time to ridicule healthy eating (the obesity epidemic in the U.S. costs $147 billion per year in medical expenditure), and he also ridiculed the notion that animals should be entitled to the possession of their own lives.
"Furthermore, he found time to jokingly promote gun-ownership - hugely amusing for the parents at Sandy Hook (Elementary School), no doubt. He also promoted his special guests Duck Dynasty, who kill beings for fun. None of the above issues are, of course, as important as Jimmy Kimmel himself, who has finally revealed his show to have an overwhelming loss of meaning. Tune in and relive the intellectual fog of the 1950s."
His mention of Sandy Hook Elementary School is a reference to the massacre that took place in Connecticut just before Christmas, during which 20 young children were killed when a gunman opened fire in a classroom.