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A Timeline of Matt Healy’s Questionable Behavior

Matt Healy of The 1975 during a live performance

Recently, Matt Healy and his band The 1975 took the stage in Leeds at the First Direct Arena during a stop on the At Their Very Best tour. Things took a very awkward turn when Healy took the mic and began some kind of racist rant. “I don’t think it’s a racist thing to say …,” Healy said before his bandmates cut him off by beginning the next song.

It’s unclear what Healy was going to say, but those words are the typical prelude to saying something that is racist. Even his bandmates realized that Healy was about to land himself in hot water and narrowly prevented him from starting a controversy. Healy was also visibly upset at being cut off, muttering “Oh for f**k sake” into the microphone before joining his band in the song.

The incident raised some eyebrows given Healy’s history. The singer has been accused of racism before and once even deactivated his Twitter account after receiving backlash for an insensitive tweet about Black Lives Matter. However, problems with Healy actually go much deeper than fans may think. The singer has a history of inappropriate behavior and scandals that date back to 2020. The latest incident in Leeds has raised questions about other troubling things Healy has done that weren’t interrupted by his band.

Matt Healy and Black Lives Matter

Racist allegations against Healy first surfaced in 2020 after he posted an insensitive tweet about Black Lives Matter. Just days after the murder of George Floyd, Healy took to Twitter to share his perspective, writing, “If you truly believe that ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ you need to stop facilitating the end of black ones.” What drew criticism was his decision to include a link to The 1975 song “Love It if We Made It” in the tweet. Twitter users quickly pointed out how inappropriate it was for him to try to promote one of his songs using the Black Lives Matter movement.

Upon receiving backlash, Healy deleted the tweet and posted another, claiming that he had only included the song because the lyrics touch on racism and other issues in modern society. Healy then reposted his initial message without the song. However, he followed it with another tweet with a link to “Love It if We Made It.” Of course, this sparked further criticism as Healy still tried to promote the song even after users explained to him why it was insensitive to do so. While the song does offer a pretty interesting commentary on modern society, it was very wrong for Healy to attempt to use the tragedy of Floyd’s death to generate interest in it.

Healy ended up deactivating his Twitter account after receiving backlash the second time around. However, in an interview, he continued to defend his Tweet, claiming he only made a “half-a-pence” for every YouTube view of the song. He also stated that he wasn’t going to be part of the “culture war” anymore and that he felt like he was a “pawn” of the left. Healy concluded by saying that he didn’t have to prove to anyone that he was anti-racist and that he wasn’t “interested” in the accusations of racism from the internet. He also failed to apologize for, or acknowledge, the insensitivity of his initial Tweet.

Healy’s behavior toward fans

In addition to the Black Lives Matter incident, Healy has come under scrutiny for his inappropriate behavior toward fans. Last fall, he received backlash for mocking an Irish fan at one of his meet-and-greets. The young woman was named Dervla, which is an Irish name. When Dervla, who is a huge fan of Healy, told him her name, he rudely responded, “What? It sounds like something you move gravel with.” Dervla brushed it off as a humorous meeting with Healy, but other users pointed out how unnecessary and rude the comment was. While some tried to defend his comment as “British humor,” most pointed out that it was just childish and rude, especially when addressing a fan.

Most recently, Healy has drawn criticism for his onstage antics during The 1975’s tour. Earlier this month, photos and videos of Healy walking into the crowd and French-kissing a fan began circulating online. In the video, some fans try to touch Healy’s face and he responds by sucking on their fingers. The bizarre moment was cut short by a security guard ushering the singer away, but it wasn’t the first time that Healy sparked controversy by locking lips with fans during the band’s concerts. Other bizarre onstage behavior includes Healy eating raw meat while performing in New York.

Healy did ask for consent before locking lips with his fans, and one woman involved even defended him from the backlash. Singers kissing fans isn’t a totally unheard of practice, as performers like Elvis Presley have done the same in the past. However, it’s a rather overused act that still comes across as creepy. Healy’s actions were especially odd considering he spoke out in September last year about feeling “sexualized” by the band’s fans. Even if his onstage antics aren’t necessarily wrong, when taken with his apparent attempt to say something racist, it seems that Healy is getting far too comfortable on stage and is even willing to offend others in his desire to cause a stir.

(featured image: Jo Hale, Redferns)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.