British band The 1975 canceled planned shows in Taiwan and Indonesia, describing it as “impossible to move forward” with their Asia tour dates a day after they were banned from performing in Malaysia.
The Malaysian government called the band “extremely shameless” after frontman Matt Healy kissed a bandmate on stage and criticized the country’s anti-LGBT laws, under which same-sex practices are illegal.
“Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, it is impossible to follow the scheduled performances,” the pop rock group said in a statement.
1975 was among the international headliners at a three-day music festival in Kuala Lumpur, but their performance was interrupted on Friday, and the entire festival was later cancelled.
A Malaysian government commission said the band would never be allowed to play again in the country, where homosexuality is a crime.
“I have contacted the organizers of the Good Vibes 2023 festival, Future Sound Asia, following the extremely brazen actions and statements made by British artist ‘The 1975’ at Sepang last night,” Malaysian Communications Minister Fahmi Fadil said on Twitter on Saturday.
The group has now announced that they will be canceling their show at the We the Fest event in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, as well as a show in Taiwan.
“1975 regrets to announce that their upcoming shows in Jakarta and Taipei will not go ahead as planned,” the band said Sunday in a statement on We the Fest’s Instagram page.
“The band has never made the decision to lightly cancel a show and was eagerly looking forward to playing with fans in Jakarta and Taipei, but unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, it is impossible to proceed with the scheduled shows,” the band said.
Friday’s events caused an uproar among Malaysians, including members of the country’s LGBT+ community, who said Hailey’s actions could end up exposing them to further stigma in the Muslim-majority country.
Unlike Malaysia where homosexuality is a crime, Indonesia’s national laws do not make it a criminal offense, although local laws discriminate against LGBT people.
But other LGBTI events in Indonesia have been canceled in recent months due to objections from Muslim groups, such as a planned visit last December by a special envoy for LGBT people.
It remains unclear why the band also canceled their show in Taiwan, where the island has a proud reputation as a bastion of LGBT+ rights and liberalism in East Asia.
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