Why Was Morrissey's Relationship with a Man Censored from His U.S. Autobiography?
When Morrissey's autobiography (titled Autobiography, because of course it is) hit bookshelves in the U.K., the frontman of The Smiths made headlines when the book finally revealed that yes, Morrissey did have a relationship with a man (the man wrote "This Charming Man", but somehow, this is news?). The book details Morrissey's two-year relationship in the mid-'90s with Jake Owen Walters, a photographer. According to The Guardian, Morrissey describes his relationship with Walters as his first serious relationship, writing "for the first time in my life the eternal 'I' becomes 'we', as, finally, I can get on with someone."
The book was released in the U.S. on Tuesday, but some details of Morrissey's relationship with Walters were edited out of the book. Walters' name was omitted from an anecdote in the book about a night out with The Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, and a photograph of Walters as a boy has been removed.
But was it simply an editing decision or just good ol' Puritanical American censorship? It certainly would be a silly thing to censor — it's not as if the kind of people who would buy a Morrissey biography would be shocked and offended by the details of a homosexual relationship. And it's not as if the entire relationship was edited out, just a few details.
At the same time, those are currently the only known changes to the U.S. version of the book. And as any person who's watched both versions of Skins will tell you, the way gay characters are handled in American and European media is vastly different (a "questioning" lesbian subbed in for a gay man? Eyeroll, MTV.). It's not out of the question that pearl-clutching would come into effect when the time came to edit the book.
Either way, it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense. If it's some kind of weird prejudice against homosexual relationships on the part of the publisher, why would they edit out small details but leave in the rest of the romantic relationship? And if it's just an editing decision, why would you take out some of the most intimate parts of the autobiography (not to mention the ones that helped make headlines)? Just leave it alone, guys! Moz is so goddamn depressed all the time, just let him have his night out with his boyfriend and Chrissie Hynde.