Piers Morgan hits out as Rolling Stones axe 'Brown Sugar' from setlist

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Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan (PA)

Piers Morgan has received backlash after hitting out at the Rolling Stones’ decision to retire their 1971 hit, 'Brown Sugar'.

The British rock band has retired the song due to its lyrics in relation to slavery, expressing concerns about their implication in the modern climate.

However, Morgan was not pleased with the decision and wrote on Twitter: “For the love of god… it’s ANTI-slavery!!!”

Read more: When Mick Jagger apologised over The Rolling Stones 'racist' lyrics

His comment garnered a critical response from his Twitter followers, who said that it wasn’t his place to say whether or not it has those connotations.

In response, Morgan wrote in a scathing Daily Mail piece: "Brown Sugar is demonstrably a song aimed at defending and supporting black women, not one that seeks to denigrate them or make light of slavery.

"But the woke-fueled narrative will now be that the song IS racist, so the Stones are therefore racist, and they’ve abandoned performing it because they accept these assertions."

"What utter nonsense," he added. "As with so many of these woke campaigns, my guess is that it will massively backfire.

"Most reasonable people don’t share this incessant hysterical desire for cancelling everything and everyone that’s even vaguely contentious or ‘problematic.’"

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: (L-R) Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones touch down at Hollywood Burbank Airport on October 11, 2021 ahead of their shows at SoFi Stadium on October 14, 2021 and October 17, 2021 for their NO FILTER Tour. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones in October 2021 (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Former X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson responded: "My grandfathers family were slaves maybe [Piers] can interview my grandfather about the lyrics and other people who’s family were slaves! I’m happy to set the call up!”

Another follower added: “Lol, Piers Morgan explaining Rolling Stones’ lyrics, as if he knows better than the author, is so Piers Morgan.”

Read more: Rolling Stones pay poignant tribute to drummer Charlie Watts at first show since his death

During a recent interview with LA Times to mark their North American 'No Filter' tour, songwriters Keith Richards and Mick Jagger both discussed the decision to pull the track from the set list.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 09:  Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones perform onstage at Nissan Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones perform onstage in 2021 (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

"I'm trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is. Didn't they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery? But they're trying to bury it…,” Richards said.

He added with a laugh: "At the moment I don't want to get into conflicts with all of this s**t. But I'm hoping that we'll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track."

Jagger, the primary creator of the song, added: “We've played Brown Sugar every night since 1970, so sometimes you think, 'We'll take that one out for now and see how it goes.'

"We might put it back in. The setlist in a stadium show, it's kind of a tough one. We did Let It Bleed last night, which I managed to play on 12-string guitar."

Brown Sugar, by Jagger’s own previous admission, has deliberately ambiguous lyrics which could have connotations for slavery, rape and heroin use.

In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he quipped: “God knows what I'm on about on that song. It's such a mishmash.

“All the nasty subjects in one go... I never would write that song now,” adding he would ‘censor himself’.

Watch: The Rolling Stones arrive for No Filter Tour at SoFi Stadium

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