Matty Healy on The 1975’s Malaysia controversy: “Me and Ross nearly shaved our heads because we thought we were going to prison”

The 1975‘s Matty Healy has addressed the band’s ongoing controversies in Malaysia after they were banned from the country last month.

While performing in Hawaii on August 6, Healy addressed the crowd before the band dove into ’28’. “All I’ll say is that I don’t give a fuck about any white saviour complex bullshit. What I’ll say is that doing the right thing often requires quite a lot of sacrifice and very little reward. And being seen to do the right thing requires very little sacrifice, and that’s when you get all the rewards. And me and Ross [MacDonald] nearly shaved our heads because we thought we were going to prison for being f*gs”.

See the clip below.


i got pushed by security in the middle im so sorry for the rude interuption #the1975 #matty #mattyhealy #mattyhealy1975 #rattyhealy

♬ original sound – [redacted]


Healy’s comments come after he and The 1975 were banned from Malaysia after criticising the country’s government for anti-LGBTQ laws during their headlining set at Kuala Lumpur’s Good Vibes Festival.

During their headlining set at the Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur on Friday July 21, Healy gave a speech calling out the Malaysian government for its hardline stance on gay rights. “I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it. I don’t see the fucking 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,” said Healy.

He continued: “I am sorry if that offends you and you’re religious and it’s part of your fucking government, but your government are a bunch of fucking retards and I don’t care anymore. If you push, I am going to push back. I am not in the fucking mood, I’m not in the fucking mood.”

Healy would go on to kiss bandmate and bassist Ross MacDonald on the lips onstage before their set was cut short two songs later – just seven songs into their setlist – and it was announced that the band were banned from Malaysia and had to leave. The following day, the Malaysian government ordered the cancellation of the remaining two days of Good Vibes Festival.

The 1975
Matty Healy performing live with The 1975 in June 2023. Credit: Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images.

Yesterday (August 7), Future Sound Asia – the organiser of Good Vibes in Malaysia – revealed that they are pursuing legal action against The 1975, and have sent a Letter Of Claim to the British indie band.

According to a press release, the claim demands that The 1975 acknowledge their liability and compensate Future Sound Asia (FSA) for the damages incurred. It also states that if the band fail to do so, the organisers will pursue legal proceedings in the Courts of England.

“FSA would like to reiterate their strong disapproval of the Band’s behaviour during their performance at GVF2023,” it reads. “In particular, lead singer Matthew Timothy Healy’s use of abusive language, equipment damage, and indecent stage behaviour not only flagrantly breached local guidelines and Malaysian laws but also tarnished the reputation of the 10-year-old festival.”

Following their actions at the headline set last month, the Malaysian LGBTQ+ community have condemned Healy, suggesting Healy’s actions would make life for the LGBTQ+ community in the country worse.

Additionally, it was reported that by the end of July, 18 police reports had been filed regarding the incident and a class action lawsuit was being readied by Malaysian law firm Thomas Philip – which described the incident as a “deliberate reckless act done knowing well [sic] of the consequences”.

Elsewhere at Lollapalooza this past weekend, The 1975 seemed to poked fun at the Malaysia controversy before performing ‘It’s Not Living If It’s Not With You’.

The moment came during the part of their set where Healy begins to say something controversial, before the band abruptly cut him off with the beginning riff of the song. While performing the song during their set at this year’s Lollapalooza, Healy said: “You want my travel tip? Don’t go to…” before getting cut off by the start of the track.