I’m sorry, One Direction, but I think Louis Tomlinson is about to quit too — and I can’t say I’d blame him. Before I make my case, let’s review what has been happening over the past week with One Direction and Louis Tomlinson. In the third week of March, Zayn Malik quit and left One Direction in the lurch for their upcoming show dates in the Philippines on March 21 and 22.
For now, Louis Tomlinson is still there — but he is being asked to pay $5,000 to the Philippine government before he can play. Supposedly, Zayn Malik quit the One Direction tour and has abandoned Louis Tomlinson to deal with the fines. The excuse Zayn Malik uses for quitting is that he has to go home and deal with his unhappy girlfriend, Perrie Edwards.
I highly suspect that Louis Tomlinson will also end up canceling the show like Zayn Malik — and it’s not to avoid the drug testing or fines. Here’s why.
Let’s start by asking why Louis Tomlinson is being singled out by the Filipino government in the first place. This story begins last year when Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik were caught on video smoking marijuana in Peru. Since this incident with Louis Tomlinson was highly publicized, some people in the Philippines saw One Direction playing in their country as a risk. Unlike America, the Philippines is very strict about pop stars like Louis Tomlinson and their marijuana use.
A week before the show, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik were told that they would have to submit to a drug test. No online media reports have clearly stated that Louis Tomlinson has actually taken those drug tests — yet. Instead, Asia One published an interview on March 19 with the promoter of Louis Tomlinson’s shows in the Philippines, Gina Santiago of Ovation Productions.
Asia One states, “When asked about the reported marijuana bond, Santiago said the band’s promoters were at the immigration department on Thursday to ‘sort out’ the issue and the concerts would go ahead.”
GMA News states that Louis Tomlinson was issued the bond by the the Bureau of Immigration to get a Special Work Permit.
In particular, a Bureau of Immigration representative, Elaine Tan said, “The imposition of cash bond was pursuant to the referral of the Anti-Drugs Advocate, Laban ng Pamilyang Pilipino, Inc. (ADA), requesting for strict scrutiny of applicants for SWP, particularly those with purported links to drug use.”
CBS News verifies that Louis Tomlinson paid the $5,000 fine and stated, “The producer went to the Immigration Bureau Thursday afternoon to post the bond and fee, said Christine Ching, a spokeswoman of Anti-Drugs Advocate.”
However, the real issue with Louis Tomlinson paying the fine is that all of this is still not over.
In addition, CBS News states, “The Filipino group is also awaiting a response to their petition asking a local court to direct government agencies to ensure that the band members are drug-free. It also urged the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to send officers to monitor the band. She said the concert producers, during a meeting with her group, expressed willingness to cooperate and give drug enforcers and Anti-Drugs Advocate access passes to allow them to monitor the band members.”
This means Louis Tomlinson could be up for a drug test anyway, and he’d also have some drug police hovering around him the entire time he is in the Philippines. I suspect that part of the reason Zayn Malik left to go back to England had to do with the fact that getting drug tested might still be in the cards for him and Louis Tomlinson — and Zayn was not sure if he would pass.
Regardless, is it also possible that Louis Tomlinson could quit the band before One Direction’s shows in the Philippines because the drug authorities there are acting extremely non-relaxed to the point that it borders on disrespectful? Perhaps the reason that Zayn Malik left before the drug test could be performed is that he knew that he and Louis Tomlinson were going to be smothered by the Filipino police anyway. If you were in Zayn and Louis Tomlinson’s shoes, would you know if you could trust the Philippines Drug Police — especially if you knew they were already mad at you and on a One Direction rampage to begin with?
Maybe instead of focusing on Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik as wanting to leave because of fear of getting caught as drug users — perhaps they will both end up avoiding the Philippines because they think of the government is leaning on them too hard.
I think it would be understandable if Louis Tomlinson thought the situation in the Philippines was so overboard that it created an environment too hostile for him to be able to relax enough to perform.
[All images from the linked references.]