Liam Payne may have found himself at the center of homophobia rumors last month, but it appears the One Direction singer is now at the center of yet another backlash after he compared One Direction’s “Larry” supporters to a “cult” in a new interview with Attitude magazine.
The “Story Of My Life” singer took to Twitter on September 10 to defend himself against the homophobic claims after fans lashed out at him for dissing those who believe Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are in a relationship, Gossip Cop reports.
Payne serves as the gay magazine’s cover star for its October issue, in which he responds to claims that suggest he’s not supportive of the LGBTQ community.
While some fans praised Payne for speaking out against the rumors and posing for the magazine, other fans took offense to Payne’s responses regarding rumors that suggest “Larry,” the couple name given to fellow bandmates Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, is a real thing.
In his interview, Payne opens up about rumors that suggest Styles and Tomlinson are in a relationship, telling the publication he thinks the idea is “absolutely nuts.”
When asked about One Direction’s performances in the U.S. following the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, Payne explains, “There were loads of rainbow flags flying at our shows, but I think that was mainly because people think of the Louis and Harry thing, which is absolutely nuts and drives me insane.”
When asked why it drives him “insane,” Payne compares the idea of “Larry” to those involved in a cult, noting the whole situation makes him angry.
“It’s like when you know the ins and outs of what is going on with people it’s just annoying when it’s so stupid. It becomes like a conspiracy or a cult, the people that watch them and think that every move they make is a gesture towards them being together, and I know it’s not true and it makes me mad.”
Liam further details, “I get tagged in drawings of Louis and Harry being together. I remember one time I was sitting next to my dad and I see this picture of me on top of Niall [Horan], which was quite intimidating. It’s just really weird to have people drawing these sexually explicit pictures of us in strange situations.”
The “Story of My Life” singer concludes his comments on the subject by stating, “I find it very strange that someone so young can think up these stories or even imagine these things are going on. That for me is the sad and sorry side of what we have done.”
Not long after Payne’s interview went viral, One Direction fans took to Twitter to blast the singer for his “insensitive” comments, explaining that Payne is unaccepting of his own fans’ beliefs.
Other fans note that Payne is ignorant for believing the only reason fans bring gay pride flags to their concerts is to support “Larry” and not for those who feel One Direction’s shows are a safe place for fans to express themselves.
In response to the accusations, Payne explains, “It’s funny I thought people appreciated honesty these days,” before fighting back against accusations that he’s playing the victim in the situation.
“Can see people saying I’m playing ‘the victim’ I don’t even feel 1% a victim at all I had a wonderful time doing the shoot…And am blessed with the best job in the world massive thank you to @AttitudeMag for having me along and for everyone who enjoyed reading.”
The news comes just days after “Larry” rumors went into overdrive after a fan snapped a photo of Harry and Louis holding hands, Yahoo! UK reports.
Sofia, a One Direction fan who obtained meet and greet tickets through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, sent the Internet into a frenzy last week after she uploaded a photo of Styles and Tomlinson interlocking hands.
When asked how she managed to get the photo, Sofia explains, “I said, ‘Okay, Harry and Louis on my left please and Liam and Niall on my right,’ and they got in their places.”
She continues, “Then, Liam was right next to me, and then Niall and Louis on the outsides. Then I said, ‘Okay, so can we please ALL hold hands please… and kind of hold them up,’ and there was a slight pause and my sis, who was taking pics, said Louis looked hesitant to take Harry’s hand.”
“She then said Harry grabbed Louis’ hand… And that’s when Louis made that smile he had in the second pic… The scrunched up smiley fond one.”
While fans continue to gush over the rumors surrounding Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson’s rumored romance, what do you think of Liam Payne’s comments in Attitude?
[Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]