Matty Healy is addressing backlash he faced after seemingly mocking rapper Ice Spice’s ethnicity earlier this year.
The 1975 frontman’s explanation of what went down when he appeared on Adam Friedland’s podcast in February seems to come after Taylor Swift, who he’s rumoured to be dating, released a remix of her track “Karma” featuring Ice Spice last week.
During a new interview with The New Yorker‘s Jia Tolentino, Healy admitted that he purposefully provoked some of his fans by laughing along with Friedland and co-host Nick Mullen’s efforts to guess the Bronx rapper’s ethnicity, in which the hosts mocked several different accents.
“But it doesn’t actually matter,” Healy said, explaining: “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 Tolentino suggested what if it does, the rocker 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,'” he continued. “And I kind of want them to do that, because they’re demonstrating something so base level.
“I’m not trying to make myself famous,” he added. “I want to be known for what I do. But now fame is about being known for who you are. And people are complicated. If people are going to make me this famous, I’m going to make people work for it.”
Healy, 34, seems to be suggesting that people are why his name has been all over the press lately, due to those Swift dating rumours. His remarks come after he briefly apologized to Ice Spice in April while addressing the situation live on stage in Auckland.
At the time, the singer-songwriter told the crowd that he feels “a bit bad,” adding: “I’m kind of a bit sorry if I’ve offended you.
“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,” he said.
“I don’t want anything like that misconstrued to be mean. I don’t mind being a bit of a joker… It’s okay for me to be, like, a trickster or whatever, but I don’t want to be seen as, like, being barmy. Because honestly, I just love you guys, and I love doing this,” Healy continued before speaking his mind on the repercussions of his fame.
“The truth is it’s a bit of a problem because I just want to say, ‘Hello. This is a bit embarrassing. I’m sorry if I get it wrong. We all get it wrong.’ I just have to do it in public and then apologize to Ice Spice,” the musician explained. “My life’s just a bit weird. I am genuinely sorry if I’ve upset her because I f**king love her.”
A fan-captured video, shared below, sees Healy attempting to apologize for his offence-inducing commentary on the podcast.
Healy is no stranger to controversy. He previously faced backlash regarding a tweet about George Floyd, leading him to deactivate his Twitter account, and once apologized for his remarks comparing misogyny in rock vs. hip hop.