Well, you can't say Matt Healy doesn't have guts. And a whole lot of confidence. Plus, many will agree with what he and his band, The 1975, did on stage at the Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week.
The country is very aggressive in laws directed against the LGBTQ community. It's illegal to be gay in Malaysia. Unless your name is Jason Aldean and his ilk, most music tends to be about openness and the need to be accepted as one is. (In fact, I wonder if Jason Aldean could one day be a leader in Malaysia, except for the fact that the majority of the country likely has a different religious view than Aldean does.)
But Healy was quite openly upset about how Malaysia views an entire group of people they see as having something wrong with them. On stage at the Good Vibes Festival, Healy spoke out against such bigotry. And then he and The 1975 bassist Ross MacDonald went one step - or kiss - further.
Matt Healy and The 1975 speak out for what they think is right
Healy said, "I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it. I don’t see the f*****g 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 am sorry if that offends you and you’re religious and it’s part of your f*****g government, but your government are a bunch of f*****g r*****s and I don’t care anymore. If you push, I am going to push back. I am not in the f*****g mood, I’m not in the f*****g mood."
You can watch Healy and The 1975's statements from the event in full on Twitter.
Whether you agree with Healy and The 1975 or not, it still takes some guts to stand on stage and say things in defiance against a country that could arrest you for what you just said. The Malaysian government ordered the cancelation of the rest of the festival the following day. In a statement after the order, festival organizers Future Sound Asia said on Instagram
The situation gets a bit more complicated than just The 1975 fighting back against Malaysia draconian laws. While it's nice to see a band stick up for a group of individuals that are always having to strive to have their human rights honored, the rest of the bands set to follow The 1975 the next couple of days after the cancelation were obviously not allowed to give their fans a show.
Those bands included The Strokes and one can argue whether any of these bands should have been playing at the 10-year-old festival to begin with (if they disagree with Malaysian law towards the LGBTQ community), but fans of the other bands did pay for tickets in anticipation of seeing them. Because of what Matt Healy said and did on stage, fans of the other bands lost out.
But one can ask: Was it better for oppressed human beings in Malaysia that Healy took a stand? Or would it have been better for him to do nothing and let the other bands play to their fans who don't normally get to see them live?