Healy was widely criticised online back in February for his appearance on the podcast, during which he made various inflammatory comments about women and discussed how he believes Harry Styles “gets a pass” on criticism over alleged “queer-baiting”. Friedland and co-host Nick Mullen then discussed Ice Spice’s heritage, debating whether she has Hawaiian, Inuit or Chinese, before impersonating the accents of those countries and regions.
In a new interview with The New Yorker, Healy was asked if he was deliberately “baiting” his fans at the time.
“A little bit,” he replied. “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 Matty Healy.’ That doesn’t happen.”
After the interviewer suggested that “maybe” it does happen, he continued: “If it does, 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 has, however, shown some contrition over his comments on the podcast about Ice Spice. He addressed the controversy on stage in Auckland as part of a show on the band’s ‘At Their Very Best’ tour. While talking to the crowd about how he hadn’t fully grasped the implications of his own fame, he took the opportunity to apologise to Ice Spice.
“I just feel a bit bad, and I’m kind of a bit sorry if I’ve offended you. Ice Spice, I’m sorry,” he said. “It’s not because I’m annoyed that me joking got misconstrued. It’s because I don’t want Ice Spice to think I’m a dick. I love you, Ice Spice. I’m so sorry.
He continued: “I don’t want anything like that misconstrued to be mean. I don’t mind being a bit of a joker… It’s OK for me to be, like, a trickster or whatever, but I don’t want to be seen as, like, being barmy. Because honestly, I just love you guys, and I love doing this…
“The truth is it’s a bit of a problem because I just want to say, “Hello. This is a bit embarrassing. I’m sorry if I get it wrong. We all get it wrong.” I just have to do it in public and then apologise to Ice Spice. My life’s just a bit weird. I am genuinely sorry if I’ve upset her because I fucking love her.”