The episode, dubbed “Panic on the Streets of Springfield,” aired in April and centered around Lisa becoming enamored with a brooding, militant vegan British musician named Quilloughby (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), who used to front a band called the Snuffs. Quilloughby at first appears as an imaginary friend to Lisa, prompting her to adopt a more world-weary and sardonic demeanor; but after Lisa goes to see the real Quilloughby and the Snuffs in concert, she’s shocked to find he’s become a boorish, meat-eating xenophobe.
Several spoof songs were scattered throughout the episode, co-written by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie. They included “Everyone Is Horrid Except Me (And Possibly You)” — which is available on all major streaming services and credited to Quilloughby — as well as “Hamburger Homicide” (a nod to the Smiths’ “Meat Is Murder”) and “How Late Is Then?” (a nod to “How Soon Is Now?”).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, “Panic on the Streets of Springfield,” drew the ire of Morrissey after it aired. First the musician’s manager, Peter Katsis, criticized The Simpsons on Facebook for “trying to capitalize on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors.” Morrissey later issued a statement of his own, saying he would have tried to mount a lawsuit against the show if it weren’t too expensive.
“Accusations usually come from someone with a crazed desire for importance; they don’t operate at a very high level,” Morrissey said. “Writing for The Simpsons, for example, evidently requires only complete ignorance. But all of these things are too easy for me to say. In a world obsessed with Hate Laws, there are none that protect me.”