Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Rina Sawayama Calling Out Matty Healy At Glastonbury For Mocking Asian People And Watching Racist Porn — And Why It’s Such A Big Deal

Rina, who moved to London from Japan at the age of 5, was on good terms with Matty until his seriously problematic behavior was exposed earlier this year.

This post contains discussion of sexual violence and racist language.

On Saturday, Rina Sawayama went viral after she called out Matty Healy during her set at the Glastonbury Festival.

Close-up of Rina wearing a shrouded outfit

The star publicly slammed the 1975 lead singer for his history of problematic behavior, which has led to him being accused of racism and sexism in recent months.

Close-up of Matty in a suit and tie and grimacing with clasped hands

But Rina’s comments are particularly powerful because of her and Matty’s history, so here is everything you need to know about this entire situation.

Close-up of Rina

In December 2018, Matty was appointed director of the music label Dirty Hit Ltd., which Rina signed to the following year.

Close-up of Matt in a Girl Scouts T-shirt and hoodie

She and Matty were initially on good terms, and following the release of her single “STFU!” Rina told NME: “Matty had already heard the new single. He heard it maybe two months ago or something, and he was just was texting me loads of stuff, being like, ‘Fuck! This is amazing’ — just being super supportive. So that’s been incredible.”

Close-up of Rina in a halter-top outfit

The following year, she joked to the same publication that she needed “to get some rock ’n’ roll lessons” from Matty as she shared her admiration for how outspoken he is as an artist.

Close-up of Rina performing onstage with a guitarist

However, their relationship soured earlier this year when Matty made racist gibes about the rapper Ice Spice during an appearance on The Adam Friedland Show podcast.

Close-up of Matty sitting down and holding a microphone and a flask

He and the podcast’s hosts, Adam Friedland and Nick Mullen, laughed gleefully as they referred to Ice Spice — who is Dominican and Nigerian — as “one of the Inuit Spice Girls,” a “chubby Chinese lady,” and “a fucking Eskimo.”

Close-up of Ice Spice in a diaphanous bodysuit and bra and panties at a media event

The men also mocked a variety of accents, including Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian, and Matty encouraged the others to imitate what a Japanese person working in a concentration camp would sound like.

Close-up of Matty in a hoodie and holding a drink

Rina was quick to express her disapproval at the time by commenting “what the actual fuck” on an Instagram post that broke down what had happened on the podcast.

Screenshot of her comment

Rina herself was born in Japan and moved to London with her parents when she was 5 years old. The star has always been vocal about how immigrating to a new country affected her as a child, and previously recalled her frustration at the way that she and her mom were treated for not speaking English.

“I remember feeling frustrated that I couldn’t speak English,” she told NME in 2020. “And I was frustrated that my mom couldn’t speak English. I thought it was my mom’s fault. Like, Oh, why does she have an accent? Why does she not speak English? And I think I put a lot of blame on her, when actually, it’s just the outside world that’s not accepting.”

Close-up of Rina in an off-the-shoulder dress at a media event

Elsewhere in the podcast, Matty admitted to masturbating to a Black woman being “brutalized” on an extreme pornography website that focuses on the humiliation and degradation of women of color.

Close-up of Matty frowning

Adam recalled Matty having the controversial site “blaring” just seconds after he and a group of friends left a party at Matty's house, which Matty corroborated as he told his version of events.

Close-up of Matty performing onstage

“I was already flustered; I was dressed as ‘guy who is jacking off,’ so I had, like, an untucked shirt, and I think it literally was Ghetto Gaggers on the TV — somebody just getting, like, brutalized,” Matty said before going on to imitate the gagging noises in the videos.

Close-up of Matty performing onstage

The podcast episode sparked widespread backlash and was deemed so offensive that Spotify and Apple Music eventually removed it from their platforms, although it remains live on YouTube.

Close-up of Matty smiling, wearing a "Coke adds life to everything nice" T-shirt, and giving two thumbs-up

Shortly after it was pulled, Matty was terminated from his director role at Dirty Hit, per Companies House. But while he no longer has “significant control” within the label, it is thought that he does still own shares in the company.

Close-up of Matty drinking from a bottle and holding a cigarette

And Matty’s controversies — which also include being filmed seemingly doing a Nazi salute in January of this year — recently resurfaced online amid his brief relationship with Taylor Swift.

Taylor and Matty walking together

The two were first linked together at the start of May and were pictured holding hands, spotted kissing, and filmed looking cozy over the course of four weeks before the romance abruptly ended.

Close-up of Matty performing onstage and wearing a skeleton-motif outfit

Taylor’s public affiliation with Matty left many of her fans “disappointed,” and she was branded “another complicit white woman” as his problematic behavior was widely discussed online.

Close-up of Taylor in a sleeveless outfit

So it’s unsurprising that Rina has won high praise for seemingly calling out Matty’s comments on Glastonbury’s Woodsies stage at the weekend during a live show that was televised by the BBC.

Close-up of Rina performing

Before she performed her song “STFU!” — the same one that Matty was “super supportive over” in 2019 — the anger was evident in Rina’s voice as she told the crowd, “I wrote this next song because I was sick and tired of these microaggressions.”

Close-up of Rina performing

“So tonight, this goes out to a white man that watches Ghetto Gaggers and mocks Asian people on a podcast,” she went on before shouting, “He also owns my masters. I’ve had enough!”

BBC / Via

While Matty is no longer director of Rina’s record label, if he still has shares in the company, he will benefit financially from the label’s profits.

Close-up of Rina performing

His name is included on a “full details of shareholders” list that was filed to Companies House on Feb. 14. According to the document, Matty holds 18,000 shares, which equates to about 4.09% of Dirty Hit’s total of 440,000.

Close-up of Matty performing onstage

This means that he will take home 4.09% of whatever profit Dirty Hit makes. It is unclear whether Matty holds extra ownership over Rina’s music specifically, which might be possible through the contract that she signed four years ago.

Close-up of Rina onstage

Many people have praised Rina for using her huge Glastonbury platform to speak out, with one fan tweeting, “yes rina! calling him out live on the bbc & on the biggest stage of all!”

Screenshot of the comment in response to a tweet that includes Rina's original comment

Another added, “big respect to rina sawayama for saying this and at glasto of all places.”

Screenshot of the comment

And others validated Rina’s anger, with one popular tweet reading, “what’s even more upsetting is that matt healy, a loud racist who didn’t shy away from making fun of asian people, owning the rina sawayama’s masters when her work is heavily revolving around her asian identity and asian background.”

Screenshot of the comment

Someone else agreed: “why do people not understand that the problem lying in this situation is NOT HOW MUCH Matty Healy owns of Rina's masters BUT that he as a white man who's been openly racist without ever being held accountable gets to PROFIT OFF a WOC's work, art – personal art – in ANY way.”

Screenshot of the comment

While Matty was spotted at Glastonbury over the weekend, he has not publicly acknowledged Rina’s comments, and it is not known if he was in the crowd during her performance.

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