The Strokes were scheduled to play the Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, before it was canceled due to The 1975 frontman Matty Healy‘s onstage condemnation of the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws. In an Instagram post announcing the cancellation, The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas commented with his thoughts on the situation.
Responding to a fan noting that Healy’s actions “brought light” to Malaysia’s lack of LGBTQ+ rights, Casablancas wrote, “It def helped the white outsider awareness yes, for sure … I felt the same. Had no idea.”
He then added, “But when you look into it, it likely will change little to nothing in Malaysia.”
“It’s like saying you helped awareness of injustices in N[orth] Korea,” Casablancas continued. “Not one of those situations where Twitter pressure’s gonna work, they don’t care, [government] is intense there.”
During The 1975’s set, Healy said, “I don’t see the f****** point … of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with,” Variety reported. After he and bassist Ross MacDonald kissed onstage, Healy announced that The 1975 had been banned from Kuala Lumpur, and the show was cut short. Organizers for Good Vibes Festival then announced its cancellation.
In related news, NME reports that a Malaysian law firm is preparing a class action lawsuit against The 1975, accusing the band of costing local Malaysian artists and vendors losses due to the festival’s cancellation.
Along with the Good Vibes Festival, The 1975’s remaining tour dates in Asia were also canceled.
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