Atmospheric interludes. Brilliantly layered vocals. Saxophone solos like a sugar shot to the veins. Yes, some way or another, we’ve all become painfully aware of the British man-band, The 1975. Maybe they once lay briefly across your peak pastel-goth Tumblr dash. Maybe you recall your dad trash-talking their electrically-charged performance on Saturday Night Live in February of 2016. Maybe you even spent the majority of your middle school years bopping along to Chocolate or Menswear, belting to tunes about drugs you’ve never touched and sex you’ve never had.
Personally, I’ve had a long, illustrious relationship with The 1975’s music. It runs deep. I spent four years worth of sweat-soaked summer nights sprawled across my bedroom floor, getting lost in nostalgia from times that I hadn’t even experienced. Tracks from their self-titled album had been secretly dedicated to every mundane task, every platonic lover, every late-night cigarette ashed against the metal frame of my upstairs window. I was, as Matty Healy once put it, “living out my life soundtracked to The 1975.”
Yes, I know. It sounds as if I’m being melodramatic, (p.s. buy Melodrama on iTunes, Lorde is an unproblematic fav), but it was an angsty involvement.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m up for charming accents and musical recherché as much as the next white girl wearing an American Apparel tennis skirt. However, when a group or person I am interested in displays behavior that offends large groups of people, I help myself to a large order of reconsideration. With extra toppings.
Things first began to get a little uncomfortable in May of 2014 when Matty belittled an interviewer based on her clothing, suggesting that the questions she asked “seemed a little big” for a girl dressed as she was.
In August, he torched Islam on Twitter. Inherently, he grouped all Muslims with ISIS.
A 19-year-old Muslim fan decided to correct Matty and his odious statements regarding her religion. He then responds with the following tweet:
He followed it up with a slew of “apologetic,” defensive tweets that while he claims were not directly against Islam, clearly were condemning religion and focused on Islam. He made clear his stance against religion still stood, making his apology seem more like something he did to keep fans happy and not because he actually meant it. And even though he apologized, reducing someone’s intelligence of their own religion based on the focus of their fan-based Twitter account is nothing less than immature, not to mention hypocritical for someone who is an “activist” and patron for the British Humanist Association. Giving a lackluster apology doesn’t automatically redeem your mistake, Matty.
“If I can help plant the seeds of women’s rights, secularism, free conscience now, I can hopefully help to empower them mentally and make them know how to deal with things.” – Matthew Healy.
In December of the same year, he tweeted these transphobic tweets, never thoroughly addressing or apologizing for the matter.
Fast forward two years, mental growth and maturation taken into account. Of course, we need to make mistakes to expand our knowledge. Matty begins to overcome his addictions and adopts a clearer perspective. Secrecy is reduced, the band’s second album, I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, gets released. We forgave, forgot, and even ignored his ignorance.
Track 11 of the album, “Loving Someone,” is soon branded an “LGBT anthem” by fans. The band’s team sees this as an opportunity to make a profit, profusely scribbling in their pretentious little notebooks, brainstorming ideas. They soon adapt their light show, merchandise, and promotional posts on social media to be more “pride-oriented.” They never donated to any charity or gave back to the community that broadened their fan base and landed them a spot in the Woke Bae Hall Of Fame. It was not until many fans brought up this topic did Matty and their manager, Jamie Oborne, announce that they were in the process of finding a charity to donate to.
September rolls around, and Healy is seen wearing dreadlocks, looking like the lovechild of 2014 Miley Cyrus and Mr. Crocker. But of course, white fans “don’t see a problem.” The man slathers on some cakey blue eyeshadow and red lipstick, so obviously he’s grown an immunity to being offensive right?
In March of 2017, Healy’s mentions begin to boil over when he, once again, displays blatant Islamophobia. This time, he retweeted tweets from an Anti-Islam hate group. After receiving copious amounts of backlash, he unretweeted the tweets and sent a few half-hearted “apologies” to fans, only to smooth over the ripple of outrage.
Finally, the most recent incident. Matty was spotted on Adam Hann’s Instagram live story, joyously bouncing around a room mouthing the words to “Caroline” by Amine. All of the words. Including racial slurs.
I don’t know about you, but I’m more than convinced that Healy is just a pillar of ignorance at this point. Reminder: It is 2017, people. We each have the legal right to express our opinions, but that doesn’t make it morally acceptable to dehumanize people based on race, gender, sexuality, or religion. Stop glorifying mediocrely informed white men because you’ve branded them your “woke bae.” Take responsibility for yourself and those you associate yourself with. You don’t have to boycott Healy or his music, but please take into consideration that he has glaring flaws that cannot just be swept away by his confusing, defensive apologies.
Simply put, I think we should just take the advice on the shirt of Matty Healy himself.