The British rock band The 1975 protested Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ laws Friday with a prolonged kiss between bandmates at a Kuala Lumpur music festival. The set was then halted by organizers.
Frontman Matty Healy and bassist Ross MacDonald embraced and kissed during The 1975’s set during the Good Vibes festival, causing the performance to be stopped due to “non-compliance with local performance guidelines,” the event said in a statement.
Before the kiss, which you can watch in video at the top of this post, Healy had paused the band’s performance to make a speech, much of which was punctuated with profanity.
“I made a mistake,” Healy said. “When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it. I don’t see the f–king point… of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with.”
Homosexuality is a crime in the heavily Muslim nation.
“All right, we gotta go,” Healy said after the kiss. “We just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, I’ll see you later.”
Fahmi Fadzil, Malaysia’s chief communications minister, said in a statement that he and local authorities would look into the performance and seek an explanation from event organizers, calling The 1975 performance “very disrespectful.”
Wire service media reports said the band could not be reached for comment.
According to reports, Healy drew similar attention to the band at a 2019 concert in the United Arab Emirates after kissing a male fan. The UAB is also known for its anti-LGBTQ laws.