Matty Healy: All the 1975 star's controversies as he admits regrets

The 1975 frontman Matty Healy is no stranger to controversy - but as he takes back his latest comments, why has he annoyed so many people?

Matty Healy of The 1975 performs headlining Parklife Festival 2023 at Heaton Park on June 11, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images)
Matty Healy is often at the centre of a controversy. (Getty Images)

Matty Healy made what sounded like an apology for some of his more controversial moments during The 1975's Finsbury Park gig on Sunday.

The singer, son of Denise Welch and Tim Healy, admitted there were some things that he would "take back if I had the chance."

As he addressed the crowd, Healy, 34, said: "The 1975 isn’t a dry band. There’s a lot of irony in it."

He added: "I was always trying stuff. And some stuff I got right and some stuff I got wrong.

"But, do you know what? There’s a lot of things I’ve said, jokes that I’ve made, you know what, there’s probably a couple of f***ing songs I’d take back if I had the chance.

Matty Healy: Read more

"What I mean is that I really am only doing this because I want to make you guys laugh and feel good. That’s what my favourite art does and that’s what I’m trying to do."

But why is the band's frontman such a controversial figure?

Ice Spice racism

Ice Spice arrives at the 2023 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)
Ice Spice was mocked in a podcast. (Getty Images)

Appearing on The Adam Friedland podcast in February, Healy listened to hosts Friedman and Nick Mullen make some incredibly offensive remarks about celebrity fan Ice Spice.

He laughed as the hosts called Ice Spice an "Inuit Spice Girl" and "chubby Chinese lady", as well as at their impressions of various accents including Japanese guards at a German concentration camp.

During a show in New Zealand in April, Healy admitted he was "kind of a bit sorry" and said: "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***."

Elsewhere in the podcast, Healy also admitted to masturbating to a porn site that features women of colour being degraded.

Harry Styles homophobia

Harry Styles performs on stage during The BRIT Awards 2023 at The O2 Arena on February 11, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Harry Styles was also mentioned in the offensive podcast. (Getty Images)

During the same podcast, listeners were appalled by a "queerbaiting" discussion about Harry Styles.

Healy claimed that Styles had got a queerbaiting "pass" from the gay community and that he couldn't understand why it was accepted.

The hosts suggested that gay men didn't mind straight men pretending to be gay, with Healy replying: "Maybe it’s not all gay guys, but a lot of them."

'Apology' for podcast comments

Matty Healy performs with The 1975 at the Picnic In The Park Festival 2023 at Sofienberg Park on June 15, 2023 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Rune Hellestad - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Matty Healy didn't quite manage an apology for the podcast. (Corbis via Getty Images)

Healy has spoken out about that infamous podcast episode — but made a non-apology.

Talking to the New Yorker, he claimed: "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."

When the interviewer suggested it might, he replied: "If it does, you’re either deluded or you are, sorry, a liar. 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."

Called out at Glastonbury

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Rina Sawayama performs at Day 4 of Glastonbury Festival 2023 on June 24, 2023 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Redferns)
Rina Sawayama appeared to speak out about Matty Healy at Glastonbury. (Redferns)

When Rina Sawayama took to the stage at Glastonbury in 2023, she grabbed her chance to take a stand against Healy.

The 1975 are signed to the same record label as her, Dirty Hit, and until recently Healy was one of its directors.

Introducing her song STFU (Shut The F*** Up), she said: "This is dedicated to the white man who watches Ghetto Gaggers (porn), mocks Asian people on a podcast and owns my masters. I've had enough."

Nazi salutes on stage

Matt Healy of The 1975 headlines Radio 1 Stage during BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend 2023 at Camperdown Wildlife Centre on May 27, 2023 in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns)
The singer caused controversy with a gesture on stage. (Redferns)

Healy has taken his controversial actions on stage, too — in January while on tour he was filmed by fans giving a Nazi salute during one song.

While performing Love It If We Made It, Healy raised his arm for the offensive gesture while singing the line "Thank you Kanye, very cool."

Kanye West has been at the centre of his own storm for making antisemitic comments which have seen him dropped from some big name sponsorship deals.

Raw meat eater

Dan Smith, Matty Healy, Kyle Simmons and Chris Wood pose in the winners room at the VO5 NME Awards 2017 at The O2 Academy Brixton on February 15, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
The 1975's shows have featured Matty Healy gnawing on raw meat. (Getty Images)

Outside of his offensive comments, Healy has turned stomachs with his choice of mid-performance snack for months now.

The singer, who also often stops his own shows to kiss fans in the audience, has started including a regular break in his songs to gnaw on huge slabs of raw meat in front of the crowd.

Taylor Swift put downs

Denise Welch and Taylor Swift pose. (Instagram/Denise Welch)
Taylor Swift with Matty Healy's mum Denise Welch. (Instagram/Denise Welch)

He's dated Taylor Swift twice – and the pair have recently split – but in the time between being together Healy told Q magazine: "She wasn’t a big impact on my life. It’s just interesting to me how interested the world is about Taylor Swift. The reason I mention that is because if I had [properly] gone out with Taylor Swift, I would’ve been, ‘F***ing hell, I am not being Taylor Swift’s boyfriend.’

"You know, ‘F***. That.’ That’s also a man thing, a demasculinating [sic], emasculating thing."

Responding in a since-deleted tweet, Healy claimed: "Now I may admit to being an idiot on occasion, but I am not a misogynist. This suggestion makes me really sad."