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Tracking Trends: Liam Payne sparks controversy in interview on his time in One Direction

On May 31, following accusations of cheating on his ex-fiance Maya Henry, former member of One Direction Liam Payne was featured as a guest on YouTuber Logan Paul’s• podcast “IMPAULSIVE.”

During the podcast, Paul asked many questions concerning Payne’s time in the band, which seemingly led the singer to express his feelings about his experience with Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Harry Styles. To many fans' dismay, Payne claimed he was the most successful member of One Direction after their split in 2015.

According to Payne, his success came from his first solo debut in 2017, “Strip That Down (feat. Quavo),” which he said outsold everybody else who had been in the band. 

After Payne’s claim, many fans were quick to point out that Styles, Horan and Malik had been more successful in the charts and in accolades following their solo debuts.

Additionally, Payne wasn’t afraid to mention the arguments and issues One Direction experienced before their split. Taking a dramatic turn, the singer said that one of his former bandmates threw him against a wall. 

“If you don’t remove those hands, there’s a high likelihood you’ll never use them again,” Payne told Paul he had said at the time.

When asked about the recent allegations against Malik claiming he attacked model Gigi Hadid’s mother, the singer defended his former bandmate. Payne said even though there are many reasons he dislikes Malik, there are many reasons why he’ll always be on his former bandmate’s side.

“If I had had to go through what he went through, his growth and whatever else...My parents are overly supportive to the point where it’s annoying at times. Zayn had a different upbringing in that sense," Payne said on the podcast.

Erin Luby, a senior studying child and family studies, thought Payne’s take on Malik’s upbringing was an unnecessary addition to the interview.

“The way he talked about Zayn and his life and the way he was brought up was honestly distasteful and should have been left out of the interview completely, as should the rest of the comments about his previous bandmates,” Luby said in an email.

As fans reacted to the interview, Payne took to Twitter two days later to address his comments in a thread of tweets.

“Guys — I wouldn’t normally comment on this stuff when it’s your family it’s hard to let it slide,” Payne said on Twitter. “They mentioned a specific incident involving Zayn which I responded to but listening back maybe I didn’t articulate myself as well as I could have.”

Even though Payne tried to clear the air about his comments, fans were eager to comment and poke fun at the singer, so were Ohio University students.

“He wants people to talk about him, and he got exactly what he wanted,” Emma Armstrong, a senior studying communication sciences and disorders, said. “People are talking about him, but no one f–––ing likes him.” 

Luby also thought Payne’s comments were uncalled for and disrespectful toward his former bandmates.

“There have been many interviews from other One Direction members where they have chosen to not rank the success of their bandmates or talk about them because it is not their place to do so,” Luby said in an email. “Liam has also done other interviews where he said things that should not have been said about his previous bandmates.”

Like Luby, Laina Sotkiewicz, a junior studying nursing, feels Payne is jealous of the success from his former bandmates’ solo endeavors.

“I believe that Liam is incorrect when he says that he is the reason One Direction came to be,” Sotkiewicz said in an email. “I think he is jealous at how much Harry is succeeding on his (own) whereas the rest are kind of in his shadow, so he had to say something to make him feel better.”


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