The 1975 frontman kissed bassist Ross MacDonald on stage.
A music festival in Malaysia has been cancelled after The 1975 frontman Matty Healy kissed his male bandmate Ross MacDonald on stage.
Their performance at the Good Vibes Festival was cut short due to the band’s “controversial conduct and remarks”, according to the event’s organisers.
The rest of the three-day event has also now been cancelled, with the Asian country possessing strict anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
Homosexuality is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison in Malaysia.
The band had been headlining the festival taking place in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur when Healy acted out his protest by kissing bandmate Ross MacDonald, the group’s bassist.
In footage posted online of the incident, Healy can be heard telling the crowd;
“I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it (Malaysia’s laws)”.
“I don’t see the f****** point of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with”.
Malaysian reaction to Matty Healy protest:
Releasing a statement after the performance, the Malaysian government said;
“(the incident) has underlined our unwavering stance against any parties that challenge, ridicule, or contravene Malaysian laws”.
The country’s communications minister Fahmi Fadzil also reacted by labelling the band’s actions as “very disrecptpful”.
The 1975 have previously used public performances to challenge anti-LGBTQ+ laws, with Healy also kissing a male fan at a 2019 concert in the United Arab Emirates.
Malaysia itself is a predominantly Muslim country, with an upcoming general election set to see Muslim conservatives challenge the nation’s progressive coalition over claims it’s not doing enough to protect the ideals and rights of conservatives.
Moreover, earlier this summer, authorities in the country confiscated watches made by the Swiss company Swatch that were part of its “Pride collection”.