The musician drew ire from fans after he appeared on 'The Adam Friedland Show' podcast in February.
Matty Healy is shrugging off the backlash he received following his appearance on a podcast whose hosts made disparaging comments about Ice Spice. In a recent New Yorker profile, The 1975 frontman addressed the controversy and said the criticism he received is essentially virtue signaling.
Healy found himself embroiled in controversy over his February appearance on The Adam Friedland Show podcast, in which the 34-year-old singer revealed he had actually slid into Ice Spice's DMs. The 23-year-old rapper -- who recently collaborated with Healy's rumored girlfriend, Taylor Swift, and performed onstage with her over the weekend at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey -- never responded to Healy's DMs.
The hosts, Friedland and Nick Mullen, then proceeded to crack jokes at Spice's expense (the rapper is of Nigerian and Dominican decent) by exaggerating Inuit accents. The hosts also made impressions of hypothetical Japanese guards at German concentrations camps. Though he did not take part in talking with an accent, Healy did laugh along with the hosts.
In the New Yorker profile, Healy, who is a self-proclaimed "bit of a joker," was asked if he baited his fans on purpose, which elicited an answer that downplayed the strong reaction.
"A little bit," he said. "But it doesn't actually matter. Nobody is sitting there at night slumped at their computer, and their boyfriend comes over and goes, 'What's wrong, darling?' and they go, 'It's just this thing with Matt Healy.' That doesn't happen."
When the writer, Jia Tolentino, said "maybe it does," Healy doubled down.
"If it does," he said, "you're either deluded or you are, sorry, a liar. You're either lying that you are hurt, or you're a bit mental for being hurt. It's just people going, 'Oh, there's a bad thing over there, let me get as close to it as possible so you can see how good I am.' And I kind of want them to do that, because they're demonstrating something so base level."
Healy apologized to Ice Spice at one of the band's concerts in New Zealand last month.
"Sorry if I've offended you, Ice Spice. I'm sorry," he said in video captured on social media. "It's not because I'm annoyed that me being joking got misconstrued. It's 'cause I don't want Ice Spice to think that I'm a d**k. I love you, Ice Spice. It's OK for me to be, like, a trickster or whatever, but I don't want to be perceived as mean-hearted."
He went on to add that he's "genuinely sorry" if he upset her because "I f**king love her."
Just last week, Swift released her "Karma" remix featuring Ice Spice.
Although many fans speculated the singer reached out to the rapper to join her on the new song, Swift told Spotify it was actually the other way around.
"Collaborating with Ice Spice on 'Karma' was one of the most natural things," Swift said in an audio snippet, shared by Spotify. "She reached out through her team, just kind of saying, 'Hey, Ice has been a big fan of Taylor’s since she was a little kid, would love to collaborate if that was ever something that came about.'"
On the night of the release, Ice Spice joined Swift to perform the remix at her The Eras Tour stop at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
As Healy kicked off his performance with The 1975, the musician wryly referenced the numerous burning questions fans may currently have for him.
"Is it all a bit? Is it sincere? Will he ever address it?" he said to the crowd, adding, "All of these questions and more will be ignored in the next hour. Ladies and gentleman, this is The 1975."