The Taylor Swift, Matty Healy and Ice Spice controversy, explained

Ever since Taylor Swift seemingly launched her relationship with Matt Healy, the pair have been the subject of controversy. In addition, Healy has been facing criticism for some of his controversial comments, specifically one where he mocked Ice Spice. However, he later apologised for the remarks.

Amidst the ongoing scrutiny towards the rumoured couple, Swift has now announced that she’ll be releasing a new version of her song, “Karama,” with Ice Spice herself. While sharing the news on Instagram, Swift praised the fellow musician, before noting that this tune will be a part of her deluxe album of Midnights, which is titled: Midnights Until Dawn.

“Um. SO much to tell you. I’m a massive fan of this brilliant artist and after getting to know her I can confirm: she is THE ONE to watch. So delighted to say that Karma Featuring the incredible @icespice,” she wrote. Ice Spice also shared the news in her own Instagram post, as she wrote: “thxx @taylorswift for being the coolest person on earth ilu.”

Before the duo announced their collaboration, fans have been calling out Swift for her apparent boyfriend and love life. More specifically, they’ve been encouraging her to use her platform to speak up about Healy and his controversies. While they’ve been spotted together on multiple occasions, they have not yet publicly confirmed their romance.

Here’s everything that we know about the speculated relationship, Healy’s previous controversies, and why Swift fans are upset at the Grammy Award winner.

In February, Healy sparked backlash after his interview on The Adam Friedland Show podcast, in which he and the hosts, Friedland and Nick Mullen, mocked Japanese, Hawaiian and Scottish people.

When Healy mentioned Ice Spice, he claimed that he tried to message on Instagram. The group made jokes about her heritage by referring to her as Hawaiian, Inuit and Chinese. They went on to mock the accents of these heritages. Later in the podcast, he encouraged the hosts to do impressions of Japanese people working in concentration camps, before doing an impression himself.

In addition, Healy made derogatory comments about women, as told Friedland that he would “f***” his sister because “she’s hot”. The three men also made jokes about women’s periods and suggested that the moon controls menstrual cycles.

On Twitter, many fans and celebrities criticised Healy for his comments about Ice Spice, including English singer YUNGBLUD. On Twitter, he wrote: “Love listening to three privileged white dudes sit around and objectify a young black female artist who’s blowing up. welcome to your 30s I guess.”

Meanwhile, multiple Twitter users, at the time, said that the podcast interview was “f***ing gross” and called out Healy for taking part in it. They also accused the “Chocolate” singer of “disgraceful behaviour”.

Healy is no stranger to controversy, as he previously sparked outrage on tour by kissing fans on stage and appearing to perform a Nazi salute while marching on the spot during a live show.

However, he went on to issue an apology to Ice Spice for his comments in the podcast in April, during a 1975 concert in New Zealand. “Ice Spice, I’m sorry. 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 d***. I love you, Ice Spice. I’m so sorry,” he said.

Weeks before Healy issued this apology, news broke that his pal, Taylor Swift, and her boyfriend of six years, Joe Alwyn, had broken up. On 8 April, Entertainment Tonight reported that the breakup was “not dramatic” and that the “relationship had just run its course”. A source also told People, at the time, that they allegedly split due to “differences in their personalities” and that “Joe has struggled with Taylor’s level of fame”.

On 3 May, The Sun was the first to report that Swift has a new love interest: Matt Healy. The publication claimed that they were “madly in love” and that she split from Alwyn in February, “so there was absolutely no crossover”. Since then, the rumoured couple have been spotted together on multiple occasions, as a photo of them seemingly holding hands at a restaurant recently went viral.

In addition, Healy has been spotted at Swift’s concerts as she’s currently on her US Eras Tour. Along with sitting in the VIP section with some of the singer’s famous friends, including Gigi Hadid and Blake Lively, Healy also watched the concert in Philadelphia this month with Swift’s father, Scott Swift. Throughout the tour, Healey has been accompanying Swift’s opening act, Phoebe Bridgers, on stage. At various shows, Bridgers has introduced him as the guitar player for her set.

Since Swift has been seen with Healy on multiple occasions, fans have shared their candid thoughts about the apparent relationship. As they’ve pointed out some of Healy’s post controversies, a new hashtag titled #SpeakUpNow has gone viral on Twitter, with fans encouraging Swift to address the allegations about her and Healy. This hashtag also came after Swift announced that the re-release of her album, Speak Now, will be coming out on 7 July.

As part of the hashtags, one Twitter user has shared a now-viral statement, which she referred to as an “open letter to Taylor Swift” from her fans. The letter begins by noting that fans are “concerned” and were “writing to express our disappointment regarding recent events”, before addressing Healy.

“You’ve been recently seen with and have welcomed to your stage Matt Healy, the frontman of The 1975,” the letter reads. “He has been involved in acts and controversies that deeply trouble us.”

The letter specified that Healy has not only made “racist remarks” and “offensive jokes,” but his “actions contribute to the perpetuation of hate, stereotypes and objectification”. The fan seemed to call out his podcast interview and apparent Nazi salute, as they said that his choices have hurt “some people from the Jewish, Black, Chinese, Hawaiian, Inuit, LGBTQ+ communities”.

The statement noted that while “individuals have the right to make their own choices and form relationships,” Swifties still believe that it’s essential for public figures to “take a stand against discrimination and hold themselves and their associates accountable”.

The letter encouraged Swift to speak up, adding: “Your voice holds tremendous power and right now your silence is palpable. This silence sends a message of indifference, particularly to the fans who have supported you.”

After emphasising that they believe in the “power to promote positive change”, the fan asked the “Anti-Hero” singer to reflect on the impact of her actions. They also encouraged her to listen to different perspectives and learn from other people’s experiences.

“Use your platform responsibly and intentionally. Advocate for inclusivity, celebrate diversity and promote empathy and understanding,” the letter continued. “Change takes time, but we hope to see you actively engage in this process of personal and social transformation. Let this be the turning point where you become a force for positive change and a catalyst for healing.”

The Independent has contacted Swift, Healy, and Ice Spice for comment.