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Viewers were warned that HBO’s new show Euphoria would be controversial, but perhaps not in the way that has recently caused a stir.
The latest episode centers around Kat (Barbie Ferreira), who, unbeknownst to her classmates, is a popular fan-fiction writer online.
At one point in the show, she begins to fantasize about One Direction, and the audience is met with an X-rated animated sex scene between former One Direction members Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson.
The latest episode of ‘Euphoria’ focused on a character who’s a popular fanfiction writer.— Pop Crave (@PopCraveNet) July 1, 2019
During the show, an animated NC-17-rated fan fiction scene with 1D’s Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson was shown, and fans are asking for the scene to be removed. https://t.co/xBV2oEUBhZ
Needless to say, One Directioners were less than impressed. In fact, they were outraged.
Disgusting, they said several times that the whole ship made them uncomfortable.— I STAND WITH TAYLOR (@beyreputation) July 1, 2019
Delete this immediately or my lawyer will be in contact— Lou (@AcRihannon) July 1, 2019
putting an animated larry sex scene in euphoria, a tv show that will be watched by a lot of people, without changing the names of harry n louis is disrespectful to both of them and is NOT approved by larries. any larrie that finds it entertaining must be gone in the head— alisha (@lukeinterludes) June 30, 2019
Stories of a relationship between Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson have always existed. That is one reason why the show probably created this storyline—because, during their years in One Direction, they were paired together by fans as the couple “Larry Stylinson.”
The belief in this couple was so strong that a sub-faction of the One Direction fandom arose, where fans called themselves “Larries.”
A “Larry” was someone who believed that Styles and Tomlinson were in love and in an actual romantic relationship. The “Larry” group of the One Direction fandom was one of the biggest sub-factions and created artwork and fanfictions which now live in the internet hall of fame.
Styles and Tomlinson never spoke about the supposed “Larry” relationship—which lasted evidently for the entire duration of their tenure in the boyband. And since their breakup, things had become mum regarding the topic.
Until Euphoria made this episode.
Many fans claimed the episode was an invasion of privacy and distasteful. Especially since neither member of the boy band appeared to have cleared the X-rated footage.
“Just going to sit and hope that they for some reason approved it because surely they had to to get it aired,” Twitter user @backtoyoulouis wrote. “Harry seems quite friendly with the people involved but u can just TELL Louis [is] not gonna like it.”
“I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it,” Louis Tomlinson tweeted in response to the fan.
I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it.— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) July 1, 2019
“It’s such a shame for a high television like HBO to do that kind of thing and WITHOUT even asking?!” another fan wrote.
it’s such a shame for a high television like HBO to do that kind of thing and WITHOUT even asking?! i mean, if it was something nice about their work... but this? a lot of disrespect to not say worse...— reny (@indevilsheets) July 1, 2019
That wasn’t nice, they were sexualising them trying to say that our fandom is like that. We support love, LOVE, not only that type of scenes. I am crying both didn’t deserve that. It’s gross, I’m a Larrie but i think doing that Scene was a very bad thing— F ɪ ᴏ (@heshomelt) July 1, 2019
Others, however, pointed out that “Larries” had spent years over-sexualizing the boys, and that Euphoria isn’t to blame for what they initially started.
“But larries DID sexualize them on wattpad and tumblr fanfics,” wrote Twitter user @fitzalansociety.
but larries DID sexualize them on wattpad and tumblr fanfics— ceri| no.1 ellehelena warrior// pinned grizzam au (@fitzalansociety) July 1, 2019
To which another user responded, “it’s fiction and as long it stays in the fandom it’s okay, there isn’t fics only about larry but other ships as well so it’s not that deep. but it’s a different when it comes on fucking TV.”
it’s fiction and as long it stays in the fandom it’s okay, there isn’t fics only about larry but other ships as well so it’s not that deep. but it’s a different when it comes on fucking TV— w (@kissyllou) July 1, 2019
Harry Styles has yet to comment on the issue, and neither has anyone associated with the show. But it simply looks like most fans were just spooked to see their written words come to life.
To be fair, Zendaya did say the show might be too mature for some, so no one can say they weren’t warned.
The Daily Dot has reached out to HBO for a comment, and we’ll update this article when we hear back.
Dominic-Madori Davis is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California. She covers the internet, politics, and social issues.