Matty Healy of the 1975 never seems to shy away from controversy. The singer recently tweeted that he once told Lucy Dacus of indie rock supergroup Boygenius that the band name inspired him to start another band with one of his the 1975 bandmates called “Girlr*tard.”
The word “r*tard” has been condemned as an ableist slur in recent decades, and fans of Boygenius were not pleased to see this joke made on Healy’s part.
Matty Healy says he told boygenius member Lucy Dacus that the group inspired him to start a band called ‘Girlr*tard’ in new tweet. pic.twitter.com/usBXP5OeHj
— Pop Base (@PopBase) September 21, 2023
Boygenius, of which Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker are members, chose their name as a nod to the patriarchal standards of boys being told they’d rule the world one day. It is also a nod to the lack of respect for women led rock bands in the music industry over the years. The band appeared dressed in suits to mimic an earlier Nirvana photoshoot for Rolling Stone upon the release of their most recent album, “The Record.”
Bridgers and Healy have long been friends, with the former appearing on the 1975’s 2020 track “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America.” Healy also played with her band on several opening dates in the Spring of 2023 for Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour.” The friendship has confused some music aficionados, given Healy’s constant reliance on “satire” and unclear political opinions appear opposite to Bridger’s unwavering progressive activism in and outside of her music.
Many of Healy’s controversies came to light when he was rumored to be dating Taylor Swift this past spring. Given Swift’s high profile tour and level of celebrity, the public holds her love interests under a microscope.
The 1975 frontman has remained at the forefront of various controversies for the band in recent months. Back in February, Healy made several racially charged jokes that many felt were offensive. The singer and podcast host Adam Frieland mocked several indigenous accents, and made a comment about queer baiting and Harry Styles. Additionally, he referred to rapper Ice Spice as a “chubby Chinese woman.” Spice previously stated that she was a fan of Healy’s music, and that her ethnicity is Dominican and Nigerian. Swift later collaborated with Spice on a remix of “Karma.”
matty healy being so homophobic after profiting so much off the queer community is truly something I don’t have the words for pic.twitter.com/rNCphn8S9M
— leen (@wineglsspufpass) February 11, 2023
Fans of the indie rock singer were quick to point out that Frieland and his cohost on “The Adam Frieland Show” both identify as queer men, which meant that Healy couldn’t seriously be homophobic. The comments divided the internet. The podcast episode had viewers questioning Healy’s claims of “performance art” in relation to his inappropriate comments. Some feel that he intentionally only apologized to Ice Spice and not the LGBTQ+ community.
The singer also told the podcast hosts that he consumes adult film content that “brutalizes” Black women, via a website called “Ghetto Gaggers.” The hosts alleged that they thought it “was a name that he made up” and “thought that it was funny because of the alliteration.”
Healy additionally turned heads for kissing fans during his current tour. Healy was having security check IDs to confirm that the fans were legal adults, but some concertgoers still felt it was uncomfortable and created a power imbalance.
Since his relationship with Swift ended, Healy has reportedly begun dating model and musician Gabbriette Bechtel.
— Page Six (@PageSix) September 5, 2023
Social Media Reactions
Dacus replied to Healy on X, saying that he “actually didn’t hear from” her at all. Her viral reply led Healy to deactivate his account.
you don’t hear from me at all https://t.co/jKTwO0ehcX
— Lucy Dacus (@lucydacus) September 21, 2023
Dacus’ reply was met with an outpouring of support.
matty healy is giving 13 year old boy who thinks slurs are funny and thinks everyone is “too sensitive” but in reality he’s just a stupid entitled asshole who lacks empathy and basic understanding of the world
— kelly ☆ (@tstytimezefronk) September 21, 2023
Lucy dacus before sitting down and destroying matty healy with one tweet pic.twitter.com/74AqNUGFqH
— emily ???????????? (@killerinthealps) September 21, 2023
Bridgers and Baker are yet to respond to Healy’s comments.