Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Morrissey says he won't play Canada because of seal hunt
Globe and Mail Update
Former Smiths lead singer Morrissey says he won't play any Canadian dates on his upcoming world tour in protest of the seal hunt.
In a statement posted on Morrissey fan Web site True To You, the singer offers a harsh criticism of hunt — which he terms an "horrific slaughter" — and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's defence of it.
"The Canadian Prime Minister says the so-called cull is economically and environmentally justified, but this is untrue," the singer said.
"The seal population has looked after itself for thousand of years without human intervention, and, as the world knows, this slaughter is about one thing only: making money."
Morrissey is gearing up a tour to promote his upcoming album, Ringleader Of The Tormentors. The first single, You Have Killed Me, was released in Britain this week.
But he says he won't play any dates in Canada and has called on fans to boycott Canadian goods, accusing the country of placing "itself alongside China as the cruellest and most self-serving nation."
"I fully realize that the absence of any Morrissey concerts in Canada is unlikely to bring the Canadian economy to its knees, but it is our small protest against this horrific slaughter," he said.
He also dismisses arguments that the hunt is an economic necessity by providing jobs to local communities.
"Construction of German gas chambers also provided work for someone -- this is not a moral or sound reason for allowing suffering," he said.
"If you can, please boycott Canadian goods. It will make a difference."
A number of celebrities have arrived in Canada in recent weeks to protest the hunt.
In February, Sir Paul McCartney, an ex-Beatle and vegan, came to Canada with his wife, Heather Mills McCartney, to stage a high-profile protest. After posing on ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Mr. McCartney went head-to-head with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams on CNN's Larry King Live.
The singer called the hunt a stain on the Canadian people. But Mr. Williams stood his ground, arguing that it provides a livelihood to remote communities.
Earlier this month, French actress Brigitte Bardot took her campaign against the centuries-old hunt to Ottawa, holding a press conference and requesting a meeting with Mr. Harper.
Mr. Harper refused, saying "I respect Ms. Bardot and all other famous people who have causes, but it's not in my nature to need to have my picture taken with celebrities."
The annual hunt began last weekend.
Separately Tuesday, actress Pamela Anderson has asked for a meeting with the Prime Minister following her hosting duties at Sunday's Juno Awards in Halifax.
"As a proud Canadian who frequently travels abroad, I am alarmed that people are starting to see Canada as a country more beholden to a pack of greedy hunters and to the seal-skin 'fashion' whims of a few countries than to the massive international outcry against the hunt," Ms. Anderson, a vocal member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a letter faxed to Mr. Harper's office.
"One of the biggest problems facing the U.S. government is appearing aloof about its own hostile behaviour; I'd hate to see that happen north of the border too."
The actor and model said she's collected thousands of signatures via an on-line PETA petition protesting the seal hunt.
Ms. Anderson, who is from Ladysmith, B.C., said she wants to visit Ottawa on Monday to meet with Harper.
With a file from Canadian Press