Months after his controversial same-sex kiss onstage at Malaysia’s Good Vibes Festival, The 1975 frontman Matty Healy has defended his actions. During the band’s concert in Fort Worth, Texas on Oct 9, Healy launched into a 10-minute pre-written speech where he spoke about the controversy surrounding his kiss in Malaysia, claiming that the band was “briefly imprisoned” after the kiss.
He said: “The 1975 did not waltz into Malaysia unannounced. They were invited to headline a festival by a government who had full knowledge of the band with its well-publicised political views and its routine stage show.
“Me kissing (bassist Ross MacDonald) was not a stunt simply meant to provoke the government. It was an ongoing part of The 1975’s stage show which had been performed many times prior.”
He then spoke out against claims that the kiss was “a form of colonialism”, saying: “To call The 1975’s performance colonialism is a complete inversion of the word’s meaning.
“Once again, The 1975 was invited into the country to headline Malaysia’s music festival in an effort to capitalise on our popularity so they could make money. Despite the band being amateur jiu jitsu enthusiasts, we’re not very good and we have no power at all to enforce our will on anyone in Malaysia. In fact, it was the Malaysian authorities who briefly imprisoned us.”
Following Healy’s kiss, the entire Good Vibes Festival was shut down by the Malaysian authorities – prompting vendors and other artistes to seek alternative ways to entertain festivalgoers. The band is currently being sued by Future Sound Asia, the festival’s organiser, who is demanding them to pay damages of RM12.3 million (S$3.5 million).
Healy announced in September that the band will be on an “indefinite hiatus” after the current tour wraps up in March. He later clarified that the band was not splitting up.
His full speech can be viewed below.