Matty Healy: The 1975 show cut off after rant against Malaysia anti-LGBTQ+ laws and same-sex kiss

Matty Healy of The 1975

British indie band The 1975’s show was cut short in Malaysia on Friday (21 July), after frontman Matty Healy took aim at the Malaysian government’s anti-LGBTQ+ stance.

The 1975 were in Kuala Lumpur headlining the Good Vibes Festival, where Healy blasted the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws before kissing the band’s bass player, Ross MacDonald. 

Healy told the crowd that the band appearing in Malaysia had been a “mistake”.

“I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it,” Healy announced. “I don’t see the f**king 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.

“I’m sorry if that offends you, and you’re religious,” the 34-year-old singer-songwriter said. “I don’t care anymore. If you push, I’m gonna push back. I’m not in the f**king mood.”

In Malaysia, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by 20 years in prison. There are no laws that protect LGBTQ+ people against discrimination or hate crimes, and conversion practices are widespread. Malaysia was named the second-worst country in the world for trans rights in a 2023 global index.

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Healy went on to say: “Unfortunately you don’t get a set of loads of uplifting songs because I’m f**king furious.

“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.

“So I pulled the show yesterday and we had a conversation and we said ‘You know what? We can’t let these kids down because they’re not the problem’,” the “I Like America & America Likes Me” singer continued.

“But, I’ve done this before, I’ve gone to a country where, I don’t know what the f**k it is? Ridiculous. F**king ridiculous to tell people what they can do with their that and that [points to groin and mouth] and if you want to invite me here to do a show, you can f*** off.

“I’ll take your money, you can ban me, but I’ve done this before and it doesn’t feel good and I’m f**ked off.”

Healy and MacDonald then shared a kiss as the crowd cheered. The pair have kissed before on The 1975’s ongoing ‘Still … At Their Very Best’ tour.

Swiftly after this, The 1975 walked offstage as Healy told the audience: “Alright, we just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, see you later.”

The incident was confirmed to the BBC by a source close to the band, who said: “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.”

The Good Vibes Festival released a statement saying that the performance “had to be cut short due to non-compliance with local performance guidelines”.

Healy is the son of actor Tim Healy and actor, broadcaster and TV personality Denise Welsh. Welsh praised Healy after the incident in a tweet, writing “he’s my son”, accompanied by the rainbow emoji.

Healy was both praised and criticised for a same-sex kiss at The 1975’s concert in Dubai in 2019, where he locked lips with a fan in the crowd.

Sexual relations between men are illegal in the United Arab Emirates, and local LGBTQ+ activists warned that Healy may have put the fan at risk with his actions. Healy later said he regretted the decision and that he “felt pretty irresponsible”.

Healy also came under fire at Glastonbury 2023, after pansexual Japanese-British artist – and The 1975’s label mate – Rina Sawayama called him out for comments he made about rapper Ice Spice‘s accent and heritage on The Adam Friedland Show podcast.

Healy and the hosts mocked the accents of Hawaiian, Inuit, Scottish and Chinese people and made derogatory remarks about women. The 1975 vocalist and guitarist encouraged the podcast’s hosts to do impressions of Japanese people working in concentration camps, before joining in himself.

Healy also referred to watching a racially-charged pornography series and mentioned a scene that “brutalised” women.

The 1975’s next tour date is in Jakarta, Indonesia at the We The Fest festival.