Since the release of the 1975’s 2022 album Being Funny in a Foreign Language, frontman Matty Healy has become a force in the indie rock world once again. Many felt that the band’s return meant a revival of the Tumblr grunge culture of the late 2010s. Their saxophone infused soft rock song “About You” has especially achieved viral fame, soundtracking thousands of videos across TikTok and being included in countless mashups. Today, Healy has landed at the center of another of many controversies.
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Clips from the 1975’s tour have found viral moments for months. Many compare the concert experiences to classic rock tours due to the interaction with fans. Matty Healy notoriously kissed several fans mid-show. This caused a minor controversy, until Healy announced that he’d be checking IDs and not kissing minors at his shows. The show included several bizarre moments, including one in which Healy ate raw meat on stage.
every time matty healy eats raw meat on stage a year is taken off of my life span pic.twitter.com/k5ThNmzxSe
— emma (@ihateinhaler) January 8, 2023
Many fans were left entertained but confused after the performances. Healy went on to explain that the raw meat was part of a larger commentary on toxic masculinity in rock music. The show is a performance art piece that questions whether he is a rock or pop star, and often includes improv lines between songs.
In the past, Healy has spoken up about reproductive rights, and also congratulated Florida Democratic Congressman Maxwell Frost on his election to congress at the band’s D.C. show. His progressive politics would later be continuously questioned after a string of comments he’s made.
matty at hangout fest 2019 in alabama – two days after the “Human Life Protection Act” was enacted in the state, effectively imposing a near-total ban on abortion. they went into loving someone right after. @the1975 #the1975 #1975 #mattyhealy #mattyhealy1975 #the1975live #mattyhealylive #hangoutfest #abortion #abortionrights
Recently, while singing the band’s hit song “Love It if We Made It,” which was released in 2018 and contains several references to American politics, Healy made a salute gesture. The salute came during the lyric “Thank you Kanye, very cool” which refers to a tweet from then President Donald Trump. Ye has since come under fire for antisemitism, and some thought the salute looked reminiscent of the Nazi salute. Jewish TikTok creators were quick to point this out.
While Healy has become known for pushing the envelope with his performances, this felt over the top to fans and onlookers alike. It was confirmed that on a technical level, it was not the Nazi salute, and it was intended to be taken as Healy referring to Ye’s problematic behavior as Nazism. But naturally, this was lost in translation.
Over the course of the 1975’s recent tour run, Healy has given countless press interviews, and several of them have landed him in hot water. The most recent of which was an appearance on the Adam Friedland Show. In the podcast episode, Healy made what some felt were problematic comments about queer baiting and Harry Styles.
and you wonder why harry doesn’t like you and refused to perform with your band when you have this god awful shit to say about him… the blatant homophobia… and coming from matty healy of all people? the stage-gay “i’m 100% straight” guy? oh fuck off pic.twitter.com/9Vv6PnNrQb
— kelly ☁︎ 4 (@satellitecherry) February 10, 2023
Some on Twitter were not surprised, and suspect that Healy’s activism in the past was performative.
The podcast episode included multiple comments about women that were deemed inappropriate by some, which is ironic, as he has spoken about the 1975’s shows being a satire on toxic masculinity.
matty healy, how are you getting on stage every night and mocking toxic masculinity and then going on a podcast and undoing the whole thing by being wildly ignorant, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, everything else under the sun. disgraceful behaviour actually
— lauren (@moonchildwren) February 10, 2023
Some of Healy’s fans felt that his comments on the podcast couldn’t really be taken as homophobic, as the Adam Friedland Show is hosted by two queer men.
the matty healy shit is funny as hell. TAFS is hosted by two queer men and everyones calling it homophobic smh
— jared (@muddsharks) February 10, 2023
Healy also mocked the accents of Hawaiian, Inuit, and Chinese people. In the episode, he also asked the show’s hosts to do an impression of Japanese people working in an internment camp with him.
Political shock humor is nothing new, but the style of comedy has certainly declined in popularity among Gen Z, and has lead fans to question Healy’s true beliefs. This podcast episode just might be the thing that causes the Healy’s fanbase to stray from the 1975. It has people not listening to his music the same, asking, “do you think I have forgotten about you?”