The 1975 frontman Matty Healy is responding to criticism after months of backlash.
Back in February, the singer made a controversial appearance on The Adam Friedland Show that has been making headlines ever since. During Healy’s freewheeling conversation with hosts Friedland and Nick Mullen, the three spent time discussing “Princess Diana” rapper Ice Spice. They debated whether she was Hawaiian, Inuit or Chinese before impersonating those accents. The podcast episode earned significant backlash and has since been removed from Apple and Spotify.
Asked if he had baited his fans on purpose, Healy told The New Yorker, “A little bit. But it doesn’t actually matter.”
The 1975 singer Matty Healy and rapper Ice Spice
| CREDIT: KARWAI TANG/WIREIMAGE; LESTER COHEN/GETTY
The singer added, “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.’ That doesn’t happen.”
Healy received some pushback from writer Jia Tolentino, who suggested “maybe [that] does happen.”
“If it does, you’re either deluded or you are, sorry, a liar,” Healy said. “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.”
Since the initial wave of criticism, Healy has expressed regret over his comments about Ice Spice. During a New Zealand concert in April, he told the crowd he “never meant to hurt anybody.”
“Sorry if I’ve offended you,” Healy added. “Ice Spice, I’m sorry. It’s not because I’m annoyed that me joking got misconstrued, it’s ’cause I don’t want Ice Spice to think that I’m a dick. I love you Ice Spice…. It’s OK for me to be like, a trickster or whatever, but I don’t want to be perceived as mean-hearted.”
CREDIT: ROBERTO RICCIUTI/REDFERNS
Healy has previously been criticized for kissing fans on stage and appearing to reenact the Nazi salute during a performance. The singer is currently rumored to be dating Taylor Swift, as the duo have recently been photographed together and in attendance at one another’s concerts. Healy even joined Swift’s opener Phoebe Bridgers onstage at a Nashville performance. Backlash in response to his Ice Spice comments has only intensified in the wake of Swift releasing a new song and music video featuring the rapper.
Prior to the podcast recording, Healy insisted that he has no interest in being “publicly correct.”
“I’ve done my decade of trying to be that,” Healy said. “I’m more interested in actually being wrong, and people seeing that, and knowing what’s right because of it.”