Matty Healy made a lot of people upset after he laughed at racist, body-shaming comments about Ice Spice in a recent podcast appearance. But now, he thinks the controversy “doesn’t actually matter.”
“Nobody is sitting there at night slumped at their computer, and their boyfriend comes over and goes, ‘What’s wrong, darling?’ and they go, ‘It’s just this thing with Matty Healy,’” the 1975 frontman told The New Yorker in a Monday (May 29) profile. “That doesn’t happen.”
“You’re either deluded or you are, sorry, a liar,” he continued, addressing fans who claimed to be offended by the remarks. “You’re either lying that you are hurt, or you’re a bit mental for being hurt. It’s just people going, ‘Oh, there’s a bad thing over there, let me get as close to it as possible so you can see how good I am.’ And I kind of want them to do that, because they’re demonstrating something so base level.”
The controversy in question went down in February when Healy went on The Adam Friedland Show to promote The 1975’s latest album, Being Funny In a Foreign Language. After bringing up that Ice Spice had once said she was a big fan of the band, the show’s hosts proceeded to make jokes about the “Princess Diana” rapper sounding like an “Inuit Spice Girl” and a “chubby Chinese lady.” They went on to mockingly imitate Chinese and Hawaiian accents, and joked about what Healy should say when sliding into Ice Spice’s DMs. The podcast episode has since been removed from Apple and Spotify.
Healy later half-apologized for laughing at and engaging with the hosts’ remarks during a 1975 concert in Auckland, New Zealand. “I just feel a bit bad, and I’m kind of a bit sorry if I’ve offended you,” he said onstage. “Ice Spice, I’m sorry. It’s not because I’m annoyed that me joking got misconstrued. It’s because I don’t want Ice Spice to think I’m a d–k. I love you, Ice Spice. I’m so sorry. I don’t want it to be misconstrued as mean.”
Since then, Ice Spice has teamed up with Taylor Swift — whom Healy is rumored to be dating — for a blockbuster remix of the pop star’s Midnights track “Karma.” When announcing the remix, the pop superstar said of the rising star, “I’m a massive fan of this brilliant artist and after getting to know her I can confirm: she is THE ONE to watch.” The two have since released a joint music video for the project, and the “Munch” artist also joined Swift onstage for three nights in a row at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., to debut the remix live at the Eras Tour.
While some fans may be questioning the motives behind the remix, Jack Antonoff — who has collaborated with both Swift and The 1975 — says he’s standing by Healy. “I think Matty is a deeply sincere person, who can, at different points, be misunderstood because of how much he enjoys a bit,” Antonoff said in the New Yorker piece. “If you don’t know him, if you don’t get him, because you’re not really tuned in to the work, you might assume a cynicism that is literally not there.”