After the kiss, Healy said that it's “f*cking ridiculous to tell people what they can do with that and that. If you want to invite me here to do a show, you can f*ck off. I’ll take your money, you can ban me, but I’ve done this before and it doesn’t feel good, and I’m f*cked off.”
In Malaysia, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to 20 years in prison. There are also laws declaring it illegal to ridicule and challenge Malaysian laws.
Because of Healy’s act of protest, the next two days of the festival were canceled. And now, the festival’s organizer, Future Sound Asia, is ordering The 1975 to pay over 12.3 million Malaysian Ringgit (over $2.6 million USD) in damages.
“The claim against The 1975 is essentially for breach of contract,” attorney David Matthew told Rolling Stone. “They entered into a binding contract with Future Sound Asia to perform and the position of Future Sound Asia, among others, is that this contractual obligation was breached. Further, Mr. Healy’s representative categorically provided a pre-show written assurance that Mr. Healy and The 1975’s live performance ‘shall adhere to all local guidelines and regulations’ during their set in Malaysia. Unfortunately, the assurance was ignored.”
The band has one week to pay damages before legal action will be taken.
A group of Malaysian musicians and vendors is also prepping a class action lawsuit against The 1975. According to them, international acts were paid in advance of performing, but local acts received less favorable contracts and are now hoping to secure some kind of compensation for losses incurred from the festival being canceled.
“If anything, what Matt Healy and The 1975 have done is discount and disrupted YEARS of work by local activists who have been pushing for change and understanding AND endangering our vulnerable minority communities,” another LGTBQ+ activist said.
“All I’ll say is that I don’t give a fuck about any white savior complex bullshit,” he said. “What I’ll say is that doing the right thing often requires quite a lot of sacrifice and very little reward. And being seen to do the right thing requires very little sacrifice, and that’s when you get all the rewards. And me and Ross [MacDonald] nearly shaved our heads because we thought we were going to prison for being f*gs.”