One Direction fans freak after singer plugs ‘Duck Dynasty’

An ill-informed gaffe or an accidental revelation?

Mar 2, 2020, 10:06 am*

Fandom

 

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

One Direction singer Liam Payne left fans confused and offended on Saturday night when he tweeted a supportive message to Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty, of all people.

Willie Robertson is the son of now-notorious Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, who sparked a firestorm with racist and homophobic comments last year. Needless to say, it seems pretty weird that a member of famously squeaky-clean One Direction would suddenly start supporting the show. It’s also odd because several members of the boy band have publicly spoken out in favor of gay rights. Most of their tween fans come from a generation where Phil Robertson-style opinions are not the norm.

Could it be that Liam Payne, innocent English lad that he is, had no idea about the negative connotations of tweeting a message of support to someone from Duck Dynasty?

 

The tweet quickly sent many Directioners into a panic. Even YouTube celebrity and 1D superfan Tyler Oakley responded with disgust, inspiring a surprising backlash of homophobic abuse from 1D fans themselves.

Meanwhile on Tumblr, directioners were already freaking out, many of them trying to track down any evidence that Payne doesn’t share the kind of “family values” usually associated with Duck Dynasty. Luckily, after an hour and a half of One Direction fandom melting down as only One Direction fandom knows how, Payne returned to Twitter to explain that he didn’t necessarily share all of Willie Robertson’s personal opinions. Phew.

He went on to reply directly to a few of his fans, telling one, “people can love who they want, (it’s) none of my business.”

So, was it just an ill-informed gaffe, or was it the accidental revelation of a real opinion? Either way, 1D fans can rest easy in the knowledge that compared to Justin Bieber’s recent antics, this controversy is probably just a storm in a teacup.

Photo via ananda-c.tumblr/Tumblr

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*First Published: Jan 18, 2014, 11:38 pm