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The 1975’s Matty Healy Speaks Out Against Malaysia’s Anti-LGBTQ+ Law, Kisses Bandmate in Protest

The 1975’s Matty Healy Speaks Out Against Malaysia’s Anti-LGBTQ+ Law, Kisses Bandmate in Protest

Matty Healy

The problematic singer has been known to speak out in support of LGBTQ+ rights.


Matty Healy blasted Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ+ law that punishes homosexuality with up to 20 years in prison during a concert Friday in the capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Healy’s band, The 1975, was performing at the Good Vibes Festival. During the band’s performance, Healy gave a profanity-filled speech to the crowd about the law. He also kissed his male bandmate bass player Ross MacDonald, the BBC reports.

Festival organizers said on Saturday that the remaining schedule would be canceled.

They said that they did so after an “immediate cancellation directive” came from the country’s Ministry of Communications and Digital. The order was part of the country’s "unwavering stance against any parties that challenge, ridicule or contravene Malaysian laws," according to the organizers and reported by the BBC.

In video from the performance, Healy tells the crowd that it was a mistake to come to Malaysia.

"When we were booking shows, I wasn't looking into it," Healy says. "I don't see the [expletive] point, right, I do not see the point of inviting the 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with.”

"Unfortunately, you don't get a set of loads of uplifting songs because I'm [expletive] furious," he adds. "And that's not fair on you, because you're not representative of your government. Because you're young people, and I'm sure a lot of you are gay and progressive and cool."

Healy then kisses MacDonald before playing their song “I Like America & America Likes Me.”

The band left the stage 30 minutes into their set. Healy told the crowd, “Alright we just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, see you later.”

A source confirmed to the BBC about what happened, adding, "Matty has a long-time record of advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and the band wanted to stand up for their LGBTQ+ fans and community.”

Organizers told the BBC that the kiss was a shock and the band’s management had said The 1975 would follow local guidelines.

"I think it's very easy for him [Healy] to fly in and do whatever he wants to do, and then just fly out without having to face or take accountability for any consequences for his actions, while the ones who suffered implications are his fans here because his set was cut short, the festival organisers and, you know, I think the industry as a whole," organizer Wan Alman, entertainment director at Future Sound Asia, told the news service.

In May, Malaysia confiscated Pride-themed watches available at Swatch stores in the country.

Healy has been known to kiss guys on stage during the band’s shows. In 2019, he did so in Dubai.

While Healy is happy to keep kissing men on stage, he doesn't identify as gay. "I see things as objectively beautiful, so men can be objectively beautiful," he previously told Attitude. "Sometimes I see men and I'm like, 'F*ck me, he's peng!'"

"Then sexuality gets changed for me because I would, and have, kissed beautiful men, but I don't want to f*ck them. It stops for me when it comes to [sex]."

Healy has a history of problematic, racist, and anti-Semitic behavior. The singer has been in the press recently for comments he made on a podcast where he called queer Afro-Latina rapper Ice Spice “Inuit Spice Girl” and “a chubby Chinese lady” while doing racist mock accents.

The 1975 is set to play in Indonesia, which has high levels of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, on Sunday.

(Editor's note: A typo in the second paragraph has been corrected to reflect that Healy "kissed" his bandmate.)

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