Matty Healy, the lead singer of The 1975, took to the stage during a concert in Dallas, Texas, to address the controversy surrounding his onstage kiss with a bandmate during a performance in Malaysia. Healy revealed that he had been advised not to discuss the incident but proceeded to deliver a prepared speech.
Defending His Actions
Healy used the platform to respond to criticism regarding his conduct at the Malaysian festival, where he not only voiced his opposition to the country’s anti-LGBT laws but also shared an onstage kiss with a bandmate. The incident led to the cancellation of the festival, and organizers later demanded compensation from the band. Some members of the Malaysian LGBT community accused Healy of displaying a “white saviour complex.”
Healy defended the July performance, emphasizing that the band was invited to Malaysia by organizers who were well aware of their political views and the nature of their shows. He clarified that the kiss was not a mere stunt to provoke the government but rather an integral part of their stage show, performed on numerous occasions previously.
A Clash of Perspectives
Healy addressed online backlash against the performance as “liberal outrage” and found it puzzling that the band was criticized for maintaining its “pro-LGBT stage show.” He pointed out that the band’s values were an inherent part of their artistry. Moreover, he asserted that event organizers should expect Western performers to bring their Western values with them when invited to perform in other countries.
Healy concluded his speech by drawing parallels with strict laws in some parts of the US, suggesting that critics would find it abhorrent if the band were to comply with views like those from Mississippi regarding abortion or transgender rights.
Acknowledging Past Controversy
This isn’t the first time Healy has addressed online criticism during a concert. In a recent Los Angeles performance, he apologized for actions that had hurt some people. He also acknowledged past controversy when he mocked an American rapper on a podcast, emphasizing that he had sometimes portrayed exaggerated versions of himself in various media, in an attempt to fulfill the role of a 21st-century rock star.
Matty Healy’s speech continues to ignite discussions around the intersection of art, activism, and cultural sensitivities, particularly in regions where LGBT rights face significant challenges.