Titled ‘Made You Look’, the latest episode features a smutty shipping scene between Tomlinson and his former One Direction bandmate Harry Styles – as dreamt up by Barbie Ferreira’s character Kat, a fan-fiction writer. At one point in the animated scene, the Styles avatar even performs oral sex on Tomlinson’s backstage right before a performance.
Fans who tuned into the episode have slammed the show creators for being “disrespectful” and “disgusting”, and have asked for the scene to be removed. Some also wondered if either Tomlinson or Styles had been informed about it prior to the episode’s broadcast – and Tomlinson revealed that he hadn’t.
One Twitter user wrote: “Just going to sit and hope that they for some reason approved it because surely they had to to get it aired. Harry seems quite friendly with the people involved but you can just TELL Louis’ not gonna like it.”
To which Tomlinson simply replied, “I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it.”
Styles, on the other hand, has not responded.
I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it.
— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) July 1, 2019
In a new interview with Hollywood Reporter, Ferreira claimed to be a huge fan of One Direction and explained why the ‘Larry Stylinson’ – the nickname for the Louis-Harry ship – storyline meant so much to her. “When I first read the script, that was the first thing that popped out to me, because I can relate to that as a 22-year-old woman who lived through the One Direction age,” she said.
Ferreira added, “It’s such a reality for so many people, and so many children and teens that are fans just have this escapist world. You completely give yourself to this persona of a person you don’t even know, or five guys, and imaging the way they interact the escaping from your own reality. It’s really interesting to me because I was definitely a part of that, where I wanted to escape my own life and focus on others because it was easier and felt more meaningful.”
Showrunner Sam Levinson also stated that the idea of the series was to always maintain a “subjective reality”. “Something that I thought was a fascinating or exciting idea was to take this burgeoning curiosity about sexuality that’s ultimately framed through the lens of fan fiction and allow it to come to life. It’s sort of what Kat’s dream would be if she could see an animation of one of her stories. That was the impetus behind it. It’s sort of allowing her wishes to come true,” he told the Los Angeles Times recently.