As just about the whole world knows, One Direction wrapped up their fourth world tour in as many years over the weekend. One Direction fans and the band enjoyed and endured an incredibly emotional evening at Sheffield’s Motorpoint arena. Many One Direction fans were in tears as the show closed, and the boys wept along with them as they completed their encores and hugged each other on stage. As the show came to a close, the various members of One Direction promised fans that they will be back after their extended break.
Since appearing on Simon Cowell’s X-Factor during its 2010 season, One Direction have gone on to become global stars, and they have made vast fortunes for themselves and for Cowell. The press and bands like One Direction share a symbiotic relationship. No band can be truly successful without media exposure, and One Direction’s management team are acutely aware of this. In the early days of One Direction’s rise to super-stardom, the press were content to feed on stories of screaming fans queueing for tickets to see their idols.
In those early days, the members of One Direction were all between 16- and 18-years-old, and no editor would want to be seen to be bashing young boys. Arguably, the first scandalous story involving One Direction was when it emerged that Harry Styles was dating Caroline Flack, a woman almost twice his age. As was reported in the Mirror at the time, Flack received death threats as a result of her relationship with the One Direction star, and was very much cast as the villain of the piece.
Once Harry’s relationship with Flack was revealed, the press moved into a new phase of reporting on One Direction. Who the boys were or were not dating had become the focus of attention, and to this day, barely a day passes without the gossip columns making some comment about the love-life of a One Direction member.
Sadly, the tabloid press seems to take a great delight in building people up just so that they can knock them down again. The first signs that this may be happening to One Direction began when it was reported that Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson had been videoed smoking a joint during a trip to Peru. At the time, the Daily Mail claimed that this showed “the dark side of the squeaky clean boy-band.”
As early as November, 2014, numerous outlets, including Music News, claimed that Zayn Malik was “sick of fame” and that One Direction’s days were numbered.
Back in March of this year, the fears of many One Direction fans were realized when Malik dramatically walked out on the band shortly after their world tour began. Since then, the tabloids have gone into something of a feeding frenzy as they predicted the demise of One Direction.
In August of this year, Dan Wootton at the Sun broke a story that One Direction were to split. That story led to One Direction confirming that they were to take an extended hiatus, but they were not splitting permanently. Wootton disputes that claim and has stated that “bitter personal rivalries caused the fall of the biggest commercial band Britain has produced since The Beatles.”
Wootton claims that One Direction is a morass of bitterness and jealousy, which can be traced “to an irreconcilable falling-out between their two most influential members, heart-throb Harry and highly-ambitious Louis.” Wootton claims to have first hand experience of the internal tensions and feuds within One Direction and claims that the only genuine friendship within the One Direction is between Louis and Liam.
Wootton claims that One Direction travel in separate planes because Harry and Louis cannot bear to be confined together. To be fair to Wootton, he does seem to be particularly well informed about the internal issues within One Direction.
A story in today’s Daily Mail is much less charitable towards One Direction. The story accuses One Direction of being “four multi-millionaires who are cashing in on little girls’ tears” by selling tour T-shirts at £25 each. The tabloid claims that One Direction’s assertion that they are having a temporary break is the sort of cover story that “warring showbiz couples usually say before slugging it out in the divorce courts amid acrimony and a blizzard of hate.”
Despite the promises that the various members of One Direction have made to their fans, we just do not know if this is the end of One Direction or not. Only time will tell. Much will depend on the success that the various members of One Direction enjoy whilst they are apart.
Where One Direction’s future is concerned the tabloids seem to rely on a raft of stories from unnamed “sources.” We don’t know if these sources are close enough to One Direction to know the boys plans. We also don’t know if the media is simply reporting the facts or if they have a subconscious desire to knock One Direction down after they have built them up.
Let us know what you think. Is the media trying to destroy One Direction?
[Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images]