UNITED STATES: British singer Matty Healy has once again sparked controversy surrounding his Malaysian ban, as he indirectly alluded to Malaysia during his performance at the Lollapalooza 2023 Concert in Chicago, United States last Friday (4 Aug).
During a set at the concert, Healy starts to share his travel tip, saying, “You want my travel tip? Don’t go to…,” before his bandmates suddenly cut him off with the beginning riff of their song.
While Healy did not explicitly mention Malaysia, Rolling Stone uploaded a video of this segment on Instagram, hinting at a potential connection to The 1975’s prohibition from performing in Malaysia due to an on-stage kiss at the 2023 Good Vibes Festival (GVF 2023).
Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 playfully responds to Healy’s cheeky gesture
During another part of the set, Healy jumped off the stage after he saw his “hero”, Blink-182’s singer-guitarist Tom DeLonge, standing in the front pit.
He then embraced DeLonge and gave him a peck on the cheek, while saying he loves him.
According to Healy, the Blink-182 member was one of his heroes.
DeLonge took to his Instagram account and posted a video of their interaction at the concert, which got flooded with angry and disappointed comments from Malaysian fans.
DeLonge also posted a picture of Healy kissing his cheek, with the caption “I guess myself ‘AND” the @the1975 won’t be going to Malaysia – just a couple dudes kissing during their phenomenal set at Lollapalooza.
Dissenting voices from Malaysian netizens
As with previous posts, netizens were swift in their response, reprimanding DeLonge for jesting about Malaysia’s legal regulations.
One of the commenters is Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s granddaughter.
She characterized his actions as disrespectful and potentially harmful to the LGBTQ community in Malaysia.
She also emphasized the importance of respecting a country’s rules while visiting, refraining from questioning its laws and avoiding the assumption that Western laws serve as the standard benchmark.
Another netizen commented, “Don’t disrespect a country’s law when you get to cause chaos and then leave.”
She added, “Don’t be a white savior when you don’t care about what happens to marginalized groups due to your actions.”
Apart from that, some netizens clapped back such as “Malaysia didn’t even invite you.”
Some pointed out the irony in their actions for wanting others to respect their way of life but they did not do the same to others.
Future Sound Asia (FSA) initiates legal action against The 1975
In response to the incident involving the acclaimed band The 1975, Future Sound Asia (FSA), the organizers of GVF2023, have taken swift and decisive action by issuing a Letter of Claim on Monday (7 Aug).
In a statement, FSA revealed that they have issued the band with a Letter of Claim, which essentially serves as a final warning.
This communication entails a demand for the band to acknowledge their responsibility and provide compensation for the incurred damages to the organizers.
It added, should the band fail to comply, the organizers will initiate legal proceedings in English courts.
FSA also expressed its strong disapproval of the band’s conduct during their performance at GCF2023, especially Healy for his “use of abusive language, equipment damage, and indecent stage behaviour.”
The Letter of Claim has been delivered to The 1975, and FSA is now awaiting their response.