Morrissey Nobel concert choice irks Norway
Former Smiths frontman Morrissey caused a stir in Norway on Wednesday after the British singer -- reviled in the country for his provocative comments in the wake of its 2011 Utøya island massacre -- was confirmed for a Nobel concert line-up in Oslo next month.
"The right man for the Nobel concert?" asked Norway's main newspaper Afterposten on its front page. This choice "is strikingly out of tune," wrote one of its commentators.
Nordic Twitter users piled on, branding as "bizarre" and "sad" Morrissey's inclusion in the December 11 concert, which was dedicated to the 2013 Peace prize being awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Morrissey is notorious in Norway for remarks he made during a concert in Poland just two days after the July 22, 2011 massacre of 77 people -- most of them teenagers -- on Norway's Utøya island by a right-wing extremist, Anders Behring Breivik. He controversially compared the victims' fate to that of animals bred for fast-food companies.
"That is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Shit every day," he said, furthering his reputation as an outspoken vegetarian.
The organisers of the Nobel concert ruled out cancelling Morrissey's participation.
While his remarks over the massacre were "hideous", producer Odd Arvid Strømstad said, "his explanation was convincing enough not to deny him the
right to pay tribute to the Nobel laureate".
"When the artists go on stage, they do it for just one good reason," Strømstad told AFP. "Some are to the left, some are to the right, but all of them perform for free to support the Nobel Peace Prize and its laureate."
As well as Morrissey, the December concert features British singer James Blunt and Syrian musician Omar Souleyman, and will be hosted by Hollywood acting star Claire Danes, known for her leading role in the TV series "Homeland".