Healy and his band were performing at the Good Vibes Festival in Malaysia, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to 20 years in prison. While on stage, Healy made a speech about the law.
“I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it. I don’t see the f***ing 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,” he said.
“I’m sorry if that offends you, and your religious, and it’s part of your f***ing government…” he continued. “If you push, I’m gonna push back. I’m not in the f***ing mood.”
“It’s ridiculous, f***ing ridiculous, to tell people what they can do with that and that,” he added. “If you want to invite me here to do a show, you can f**k off. I’ll take your money. You can ban me, but I’ve done this before, and it doesn’t feel good.”
Healy and bassist Ross MacDonald then shared a kiss.
Now, in response, the entire festival has been canceled by the Ministry of Communications and Digital.
“The ministry has underlined its unwavering stance against any parties that challenge, ridicule, or contravene Malaysian laws,” it said in a recent statement.
Healy has pulled the stunt of kissing his male bandmates or male fans at several concerts before, including in Dubai in 2019 and at a part of their North American tour in 2022. Healy has emphasized that while he has kissed men, he has no desire to have sex with them, and is indeed straight.
Earlier this year, Healy deactivated his Twitter account after he appeared on a podcast calling out others like Harry Styles and Pink for “queerbaiting.”
“I actually don’t think the gays really like it,” he said about Styles’ fashion choices that often include feminine attire. “It’s young girls that think it’s a new thing that are like, ‘Oh my god.’”
Healy, who very very briefly dated Taylor Swift this year, also has a history of making racist “jokes” on that same podcast, The Adam Friedland Show.
On that podcast, in addition to calling out others for queerbaiting, he called Afro-Latina rapper Ice Spice an “Inuit Spice Girl” and “a chubby Chinese lady” while doing racist mock accents.
He also told a story on the podcast about a woman walking in on him while he was masturbating to the hardcore porn site Ghetto Gaggers, which is a website specializing in porn that shows white men violently having sex with Black women. Videos on the site include ones titled “19, Stripped and Whipped” and “Bred on Juneteenth.”