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Matty Healy: Rockstars, Relationships and Repercussions

Published on Feb. 10, 2023, at 7:43 a.m.
by Hailey Castillo.

From Elvis Presley’s gyrating hips to Ozzy Osbourne’s bat incident, rockstars will always find themselves in the spotlight, for better or worse, no matter the cause. As The 1975 travels the world on the “At Their Very Best” tour, the same can be said for frontman Matty Healy.

By Yvette de Wit via Unsplash

Since the tour started in November, it appears that every night Healy is bound to do something show-stopping on stage — from eating raw meat to kissing fans — regardless of the reaction from the public. However, his behavior has sparked social media discussions as observers question his intentions as a performer who has a platform with the potential to go viral at any moment.

The tour started with seemingly innocent kisses shared between Healy and fans who gave him their consent. Over the last three months, his actions onstage have snowballed into a controversial mess — considering that Healy has been accused of performing the Nazi salute on stage and calling Irish people simple. Most recently, his own band cut him off before he could say something racist into the microphone at Utilita Arena in Newcastle, England. Despite these questionable acts, Healy and the band still have support from fans, while others have commented on the oddities involved with the tour.

One Twitter user stated that “Matty Healy is weird” and also pointed out that he follows Kyle Rittenhouse on Instagram, who shot three men during a 2020 protest related to the Black Lives Matter movement. While fans argue that Healy’s performances on stage are all part of an act, another user took to Twitter to argue that “his jokes are literally just him being antisemitic and racist.” Even with the negative press and mixed reactions from fans, Matty Healy still has a following, and the question is not how, but why?

By Matthew Jungling via Unsplash

It’s easy to give people we love the benefit of the doubt, especially if our only relationships with them are parasocial. With that said, Healy’s actions humanize him — they remind us that despite his celebrity status, he’s not perfect. Healy is flawed, just like our family members and friends who may not share the same beliefs, even on the most sensitive subjects.

We must remember that behind Matty Healy’s onstage persona is a musician who has captivated fans’ attention for over 10 years. In the last decade, he’s helped create and produce five studio albums and embarked on 20 different concert tours that garnered fan support. For every unfavorable viral moment, there are numerous instances when he’s touched the lives of fans through his music and character. Those who have strong parasocial relationships with celebrities like Healy will continue to see them with rose-colored glasses.

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