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BUZZ: The 1975 banned from performing in Malaysia after Matty Healy’s ‘controversial’ kiss with male bandmate

The 1975 has been prohibited from performing in Malaysia after frontman Matty Healy kissed a male bandmate onstage, breaking the country’s strict anti-LGBTQIA+ laws.

The British pop rock band’s outspoken lead singer, 34, took the stage at the Good Vibes Festival Friday and gave a lengthy speech to slam the Asian country’s policies while doing a show in Kuala Lumpur, the nation’s capital.

“I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it,” Healy admitted to his fans.

“I don’t see the f–king point … of inviting the 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with.”

He continued, “I’m sorry if that offends you, and you’re religious … but your government are a bunch of f–king r–s. I don’t care anymore. If you push, I’m gonna push back. I’m not in the f–king mood.”

The 1975 at a red carpet event.
The 1975 was banned from performing in Malaysia due to Matty Healy’s kiss with bandmate Ross Macdonald.
Getty Images for Audacy

Healy said he contemplated cancelling the concert due to his beliefs, but thought he didn’t want to punish his fans for their government.

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“I’m sure a lot of you are gay and progressive and cool,” the “Love It If We Made It” singer noted while wielding a bottle of wine, as the crowd broke out into a slew of cheers.

“I pulled this show yesterday, and we had a conversation. We said, ‘You know what? We can’t let the kids down because they’re not the government.’”

The 1975 and Matty Healy performing.
The 1975 was performing at the Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur just before the ban.
Getty Images

Healy added, “If you want to invite me here to do a show, you can f–ck off. I’ll take your money, you can ban me, but I’ve done this before, and it doesn’t feel good.”

The British rocker then walked over to The 1975’s bassist, Ross MacDonald, and planted a lengthy kiss on him. 

According to Malaysian law, same-sex activity is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment with whipping.

Following Healy’s stunt, the “Sincerity Is Scary” singer walked off the stage and said,  “Alright, we gotta go. We just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, I’ll see you later.”

Matty Healy kissing his bandmate Ross Macdonald.
Healy kissed his bandmate in protest of Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQIA+ laws.

The Good Vibes Festival subsequently released a statement, letting fans know that Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital had cancelled the three-day event due to the “controversial conduct and remarks” made by Healy.

“We sincerely apologise to all our ticket holders, vendors, sponsors, and partners,” they added. “We are aware of the time, energy and efforts you have put into making this festival a success, and we value your steadfast support.”

Healy responded to the statement via his Instagram Stories Saturday, writing in jest, “Ok well why don’t you try and not make out with Ross for 20 years. Not as easy at it looks.”

Matty Healy kissing Ross Macdonald onstage.
Healy’s kiss has also been met with much criticism from Malaysian fans.

The festival’s decision has been widely praised by several Malaysians, many of whom took to Healy’s Instagram to voice their opinions.

“Please read the contract before you agree to perform in Malaysia or any other country,” one user wrote. “If you are too busy to even bother about the laws & regulations, let the managers do the s–t. Clearly you are selfish & disrespectful.”

Another commented, “You can do whatever u like in your own country, do not come and do something uncivilized in Malaysia.”

Page Six has reached out to The 1975 and Healy’s reps for comment on the ban and backlash, but did not immediately hear back.

Matty Healy's response to the ban in Malaysia.
Healy took to his Instagram Stories Saturday to respond to the ban.

However, a source close to the band tells Page Six Saturday, “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.”

Healy has openly protested anti-LGBTQIA policies before. In 2019, he kissed a male fan at his concert in Dubai, where homosexuality is also illegal.

“Thank you Dubai you were so amazing,” Healey wrote in a since-deleted tweet after the show. “I don’t think we’ll be allowed back due to my ‘behaviour’ but know that I love you and I wouldn’t have done anything differently given the chance again.”

A promo shot for The 1975.
“The band wanted to stand up for their LGBTQ+ fans and community,” a source close to 1975 tells Page Six.

Despite being very comfortable making out with men, Healy does not identify as gay.

“I see things as objectively beautiful, so men can be objectively beautiful. Sometimes, I see men and I’m like, ‘Fuck me, he’s peng!’” the “Somebody Else” singer told Attitude magazine in December 2019.

“Then sexuality gets changed for me because I would, and have, kissed beautiful men, but I don’t want to f–k them. It stops for me when it comes to [sex].”


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