“The idea of calling out a performer for being performative is mind-numbingly redundant”: The 1975’s Matty Healy gives speech on Malaysia kiss incident

Healy says the kiss was “not a stunt simply meant to provoke the government”.

Matty Healy on stage wearing a suit and playing a red Stratocaster guitar

Image: Scott Legato / Getty Images

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Matty Healy of The 1975 has given a 10 minute speech regarding a controversial kiss which happened between himself and bandmate Ross MacDonald at their performance in Malaysia as part of Good Vibes Festival last July.

The 1975 were banned from the country after breaching LGBTQ+ laws following the kiss, and organisers cancelled the rest of the festival as part of an “immediate cancellation directive” from Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital.

The band are still on the road as part of their Still… At Their Very Best tour. They are due to go on a hiatus when the circuit comes to a close. At a show in Dallas, Texas on 9 October, Healy read notes from his phone, to address the incident.

While Healy says he’d been advised not to talk about it, he said the band “did not waltz into Malaysia”, and had been invited by organisers who knew of their political views and the nature of their shows.

He also stated that the kiss was “not a stunt simply meant to provoke the government” but was instead an “ongoing part of The 1975 stage show which had been performed many times prior.”

Healy later argued that “the idea of calling out a performer for being performative is mind-numbingly redundant as an exercise.” In July it was reported that the band are facing a class action lawsuit due to the cancellation of the festival following the kiss. View the full speech in the video below:

Earlier this month, Healy also apologised during a show at the Hollywood Bowl for how his actions have “hurt some people” following a conversation regarding race and rap artist Ice Spice which occurred during a podcast episode: “I apologise to those people, and I pledge to do better moving forward,” he said. “You see, as an artist, I want to create an environment for myself to perform where not everything that I do is taken literally.”

He later added, “Sometimes playing pretend is the only way you can truly find out who you are. And you could probably also say that men would rather do offensive impressions for attention than go to therapy.”

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