Following the fourth night of seven scheduled concerts on Broadway this month, Morrissey appeared in an Instagram video out back of New York City’s Lunt-Fontanne Theater.
He was spotted signing memorabilia for a small number of fans on Tuesday night, and although he avoided many copies of The Smiths‘ albums, the Everyday Is Like Sunday singer seemed to be in a chipper mood.
The video soon went viral after some eagle-eyed fans noticed the singer was sporting a ‘For Britain’ badge in the clip.
For Britain is a minor far-right political party founded in 2017 by anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters. It is considered by many, including Hope Not Hate and Resisting Hate — two U.K.-based anti-hate foundations — to be a fascist and racist organization.
The revelation came as a shock to many fans as the 59-year-old was once known for his intense dislike of racism and politicians in general.
He is now receiving a large amount of backlash online after supporting and representing the party in public.
Back in 2018, Morrissey revealed he was a supporter of the For Britain movement after Waters, 41, lost the 2017 U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) leadership election.
“I have been following a new party called For Britain,” the singer told British author Fiona Dodwell of Tremr last year. “It is the first time in my life that I will vote for a political party. Finally, I have hope.”
He further dismissed frequent allegations that the For Britain party is racist.
“I don’t think the word racist has any meaning anymore, other than to say: ‘You don’t agree with me so you’re a racist,'” he said. “People can be utterly, utterly stupid.”
Morrissey later tried to defend himself in a personal blog post last year. “I despise racism and fascism,” he wrote. “I would do anything for my Muslim friends and I know they would do anything for me.”
How racist is Morrissey? Just walking round wearing badges of political parties that were too right wing for UKIP. What absolute trash.
— Joe Graham (@J_Graham93) May 9, 2019
Although some fans still disagree with the singer’s political views.
“Man, I f**king hate Morrissey,” wrote a Twitter user in response. “He’s deteriorated from ‘it takes guts to be gentle and kind’ to a nationalist who defends Tommy Robinson and wears a For Britain badge. I think we should remove his citizenship.”
As a result of the recent controversy, Dodwell spoke out on Twitter in support of the singer.
“The same old voices spouting the same inane diatribes against Morrissey because (shock-horror!) he has an opinion on politics,” she wrote.
“I’m starting to suspect they don’t have a clue about the politics,” she continued. “They’re just not used to artists who are actually unafraid to think for themselves.”
“Here is the racist Morrissey wearing an actual For Britain badge,” wrote another Twitter user. “If you don’t know who For Britain are, they’re a political party that Nigel Farage (!) claims are made up of ‘Nazis and racists.'”
Farage — fellow right-wing politician, former UKIP leader and current leader of the Brexit Party — did, in fact, make that claim, according to Waters herself (via Politico.eu).
The Twitter user added: “Last year, the Holocaust denier, Ingrid Carlqvist, spoke at their party conference.”
Carlqvist spoke alongside a number of other supporters at For Britain’s conference in Liverpool in Sept. 2018, according to Hope Not Hate.
Associating with the so-called “Holocaust denier” had many Morrissey fans up in arms on the subject.
Here’s what some more Twitter users had to say about Morrissey’s For Britain badge:
Shock as man who’s spent a career fetishising white working class English past wears For Britain badge #Morrissey
— MttB (@TrumptonRiot) May 9, 2019
What's going on? Danny Baker & that tweet, Morrissey & a For Britain badge? Seems public figures are showing their true colours but have we really reached a point where they think this stuff is acceptable? Bad enough to think it but to publicly to do so?
— Mik Scarlet (@MikScarlet) May 9, 2019
So sorry to see Morrissey photographed wearing a 'For Britain' badge, supporting a Far Right joke of a party. He'll always be Steven Patrick Morrissey to me, but isn't it rotten to see one of our own go that way?
— Donal Fallon (@fallon_donal) May 9, 2019
Morrissey comprises around 1% of For Britain’s voter base
— Dr HOX ENDUCTION HOUR 🌻🎩🧐 (@hoxtonwanka) May 9, 2019
I always said Johnny Marr was the cool one. Here's Johnny calling out the far right on Twitter. And here's Morrissey supporting the far right, wearing a For Britain badge after a show. Source (check third video in this Instagram post): https://t.co/VCqTI8In9K pic.twitter.com/KuExTTY7h9
— Snigdha (@snigskitchen) May 9, 2019
Morrissey with his wanky little For Britain badge though. A grubby signal to his new fan base. There can’t be anyone left in his old one.
— GlennA (@GlennAirey) May 9, 2019
@officialmoz I know you don’t care but For Britain are bunch of nutjob fascists. You are a disgrace.
— Alan Stewart (@LaikaAlan) May 8, 2019
As of this writing, Morrissey has not made any further comment on the newly viral video or his support for the For Britain movement.
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