1975 have been banned from performing in Malaysia a day after the band’s frontman Matty Healy denounced the country’s anti-LGBTQ laws and then kissed his bandmate, bassist Ross McDonald.
The country, where homosexuality is illegal, also canceled the remainder of the Good Vibes festival on Saturday, which was due to run alongside several other acts over the weekend.
“There will be no compromise against any party that challenges, denigrates and violates Malaysian laws,” Malaysian Communications Minister Fahmi Fazil said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“Never offend the sensitivities of the community, especially those against the traditions and values of the local culture,” he added.
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The Good Vibes festival said in a statement that it “deeply regrets” the cancellation of the festival due to the “controversial behavior and remarks of UK artist Matty Healy of the band 1975”.
The statement added that Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications has “underlined its unwavering stance against any party that challenges, mocks or violates Malaysian laws.”
A government committee also clarified that 1975 has been banned in the country.
“I don’t see the point of inviting 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with,” Haley said in a lengthy onstage speech Friday, adding that she had considered canceling but didn’t want to disappoint her fans.
He said he had made a “mistake” in booking the Kuala Lumpur gig, adding, “I wasn’t thinking about it.”
“Unfortunately, you don’t get a lot of song collections because I’m angry,” he told the audience. “And that’s not fair to you, because you’re not representative of your government. You’re young, and I’m sure many of you are gay and progressive.”
He added, “If you want to invite me here for a show, you can stop. I’ll take your money, you can ban me, but I’ve done it before, and it doesn’t look good.”
Haley and MacDonald then shared a kiss to cheers from the audience, social media videos of the concert show.
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Immediately afterwards, Haley told the crowd before departing, “Okay, we’ve got to go, we’re banned from Kuala Lumpur, I’ll see you later.”
Haley poked fun at the incident on her Instagram story, including a statement about the festival’s cancellation, writing, “Well why don’t you try going out with Ross for 20 years. Not as easy as it sounds.”
“Matty has a long record of advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and the band wanted to stand up for their LGBTQ+ fans and community,” a source close to the band told Fox News Digital.
Some LGBTQ activists in the country criticized Haley’s actions as “performance activism,” saying it could actually do more harm, Reuters reported.
Malaysian drag queen Carmen Rose tweeted, “Matt Haley has undoubtedly made it worse for Malaysians who actually live here, and will face the consequences, we all know our politicians will use it to push their agendas.”
He added, “Honestly f— like Matt Haley, he doesn’t care about any of us but himself. The way he acted on stage he’s a man-child to me, like you wasted people’s time, effort and money.”
“He doesn’t care about us or anyone else for that matter,” she said.
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Haley was similarly criticized for kissing a male fan during a show in the United Arab Emirates in 2019, according to Reuters.