Over the ominous nu-metal guitar riff which opens her 2020 song “STFU!”, Sawayama said, “I wrote this next song because I was sick and tired of microaggressions. So, tonight, this song goes out to a white man who watches Ghetto Gaggers and mocks Asian people on a podcast. He also owns my masters.”
She was referring here to controversial comments that Healy made on The Adam Friedland Show podcast, where he laughed along as the hosts described hip-hop artist Ice Spice as an “Inuit Spice Girl” and a “chubby Chinese lady”, as well as mocking what they imagined her accent to sound like. “Ghetto Gaggers”, meanwhile, is a reference to a racialised hardcore porn site that Healy joked about watching, on which (in his words) Black women are “brutalised”.
Healy has both apologised for these comments (on stage in Auckland, he said sorry to Ice Spice) and elsewhere dismissed them as unimportant: in a New Yorkerinterview last month, he said that the podcast controversy “doesn’t actually matter” and suggested that no-one is genuinely upset.
As for the claim that Healy owns Sawayama’s masters, this is referring to the fact that Healy, along with the rest of The 1975, are shareholders in Dirty Hit – the record label to which Sawayama is signed. Healy was a director at the label before stepping back from the role earlier this year, but it's still home to The 1975. The next Dirty Hit office party might be a little bit awkward…