What Matty Healy Said About Ice Spice Before Taylor Swift’s ‘Karma’ Collaboration

Critics of Taylor Swift have accused the pop star of “performative activism” after she recorded a remix of her song “Karma” with rapper Ice Spice, who was the subject of insensitive conversations from Swift’s lover Matty Healy.

Swift announced that her collaboration with the artist “In Ha Mood” will be released next Friday in a deluxe version of “Midnights”. The revamp will be Swift’s first song to feature a female rapper.

“I am a huge fan of this brilliant artist and after getting to know her I can confirm she is THE ONE to watch,” the pop star said of Ice Spice in a tweet Wednesday. “Dearest person ever thank you sm,” Ice Spice replied in a quote tweet.

The collaboration comes amid swirling rumors that Swift and Healy, the lead singer of the 1975, are dating. Some fans are skeptical of her decision to partner with Ice Spice after Healy faced backlash for agreeing with racist comments about Ice Spice in a podcast in February.

Here’s the Taylor Swift-Ice Spice-Matty Healy drama, explained:

What did Matty Healy say about Ice Spice?

While a guest on “The Adam Friedland Show” in February, Healy laughed when the two podcast hosts, Friedland and Nick Mullen, ridiculed Ice Spice by using derogatory terms about her body and ethnicity and calling her an “Inuit Spice Girl called. “chubby Chinese lady”, while using contrived Chinese and Hawaiian accents to emulate her.

In the episode, which was removed from Spotify and Apple Music, Ice Spice was mentioned by Healy, who said he was trying to post on Instagram. When Healy was asked by the hosts, who are known for their racially insensitive jokes, if she sounded like they were impersonating her, he told them, “Yeah, that’s Ice Spice” and then called her “silly”. Later in the episode, Healy asked the hosts to fake Japanese people who worked in concentration camps and spoke a Japanese accent himself.

Healy later apologized after facing backlash at a concert in Auckland, New Zealand in April. He told the audience, “I just feel a little bad, and I’m a little sorry if I offended you,” he said. Ice Spice, I’m sorry. It’s not because I’m annoyed that my joke was taken the wrong way. It’s because I don’t want Ice Spice to think I’m an asshole. I love you Ice Spice. I’m very sorry.”

Before the now-deleted podcast, Ice Spice, who is Dominican and Nigerian, had expressed her love for Healy’s 1975 band in a video for Elle back in January.

Representatives for Healy and Ice Spice did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Swift’s team declined to comment on the record.

Why are people mad at Taylor Swift?

The singer, who is currently touring the country on her Eras tour, has been friends with Ice Spice. In March, Swift packaged the “Boy’s a Liar, Pt. 2” rapper in a hug onstage at the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Swift has not commented on the controversial statements made by Healy, who she has also been spotted with in recent weeks.

Some pop music fans have accused her of remaining silent on important social and political issues, such as LGBTQ rights, and only taking a stand publicly when it suits her.

Swift did not comment publicly on politics until 2018, when she mentioned two Democratic candidates on Instagram that she would support in that year’s midterm elections. When Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) ran for the Senate, Swift denounced her stance against LGBTQ rights and voting against the Violence Against Women Act, which tackles domestic violence and stalking.

“I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe the systemic racism we continue to see in this country against people of color is terrifying, sickening and pervasive,” she wrote on Instagram in 2018.

The music video for her 2019 hit “You Need to Calm Down,” made in support of the LGBTQ community, was met with backlash, as some fans said it contained stereotyped images of gay people, while benefiting her financially during Pride Month. (At the time, she also made a “very generous” donation to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the advocacy group said.)

Some Swifties have supported her over the years, arguing that she is a musician, not an activist, and is not responsible for making a statement on every human rights issue — or every problematic statement her friends or partners say.

Healy is the lead singer of the 1975, a British alternative band known for songs like ‘Chocolate’, ‘Somebody Else’ and ‘The Sound’. The group was named Band of the Decade in 2020 by UK news outlet NME, winning four Brit Awards and being nominated for a Grammy for “Give Yourself a Try”.

Healy’s behavior has raised eyebrows before. Fans have expressed discomfort at his habit of kissing fans on stage, even if it is by mutual consent. According to Variety, he was accused of using the Black Lives Matter movement to promote the band’s song “Love It if We Made It” in a deleted tweet. While performing the song last January, he was accused of being anti-Semitic after receiving a Nazi salute as he sang the lyrics, “Thank you, Kanye, very cool.” (Kanye West, aka Ye, is under fire for his own anti-Semitism.)

And Healy told the Fader in 2018 that “misogyny isn’t in rock and roll anymore,” though he later tweeted an apology. “I was simplifying a complex issue without the proper amount of education on the subject,” he said.

Ice Spice, whose real name is Isis Gaston, is a rapper from the Bronx who has become extremely popular in the past year. She is known for TikTok famous songs such as ‘Munch (Feelin’ U)’ and the pink-focused ‘Boy’s a Liar, Pt. 2.’, on which she worked together with PinkPantheress.

Known for her Annie-esque red hair, Ice Spice’s songs have often been used as the backdrop for popular TikTok dances. She started rapping while a student at the State University of New York at Purchase.

Is Taylor Swift Actually Dating Matty Healy?

Swift and Healy have not publicly confirmed or denied the dating rumours. But many Swifties are convinced that they are romantically linked.

In addition to Swift and Healy collaborating musically — performing at each other’s concerts and making unreleased “Midnights” songs — the pair were seen holding hands this month, and fans have speculated they uttered the same words: “This is about you. You know who you are. I love you” – during their concerts one night apart.

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