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Glastonbury Drama: Rina Sawayama Calls Out Matty Healy for Toxicity in UK Music

by Josie Sharp

In a powerful display of activism, Japanese alt pop singer Rina Sawayama took a stand against Matty Healy during her recent performance at Glastonbury. 

As an artist who has been curating music since 2013 and accumulated a dedicated fan base, Sawayama's bold actions shed light on an issue that has long plagued the music industry. Given a global audience to this discussion was a much needed step in the right direction.

During the introduction of her song 'STFU', Sawayama expressed her frustration, declaring, "I'm sick and tired of microaggressions. This song goes out to a white man who watches Ghetto Gaggers and mocks Asian people on a podcast. He also owns my masters. I've had enough." 

It was a clear reference to The 1975's lead singer, Matty Healy, who has recently faced criticism for his remarks on 'The Adam Friedland Show'.

Matty Healy previously served as the director of the label 'Dirty Hit,' which signed Rina in 2020. However, he stepped down from his position in April this year, prompting speculation that his decision was influenced by his history of racism and sexism scandals.

In the aforementioned interview, Healy shockingly admitted to watching Ghetto Gaggers - a website known for degrading black women, and made inappropriate comments about the accent of up-and-coming rapper 'Ice Spice'. 

His involvement in the podcast, where he laughed along with individuals mimicking Asian accents in a racist manner, further intensified the controversy surrounding his views.

Despite these controversies, The 1975 retains a substantial fanbase that continues to attend their shows. The question arises: how can a prominent male artist avoid facing the consequences of his actions? Some fans argue that Healy's problematic behavior is merely part of the 'performance' he puts on for the public.

During their ongoing world tour, 'Their Very Best,' promoting their fifth album 'Being Funny in a Foreign Language,' Healy attempts to make controversial comments before being abruptly interrupted by music, transitioning into a new song. 

These topics have included discussions about trans women in sports and potentially racist remarks. While some fans find this entertaining, it raises concerns that Healy trivializes important issues and uses them as material for his jokes - or, more worryingly, PR.

The future remains uncertain. If other artists signed to Healy's label, like Rina, protest against his actions, the label, and his manager will be compelled to take their allegations seriously. It is hoped that one day he will have to face the consequences from those he has offended through his misguided 'skits.'

Edited by Emily Duff

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