Harry Styles cracked a joke about his One Direction days, and it has thrown Twitter into a frenzy. The former 1D singer dared to mention former bandmate Zayn Malik in his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live during his long-awaited hosting gig on the NBC late-night show.
During his SNL monologue, Styles recalled his days as a singer in the popular boy band created by Simon Cowell nearly a decade ago. The now-25-year-old pop star sat in front of a baby grand piano while reminiscing about his former life as a teen hitmaker. Styles noted that he’s not in a boy band anymore but is in a “man band.”
He then teased “how crazy would it be if they were here tonight.”
As fans hoped for a reunion of Styles and his bandmates Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik, the singer quickly shut things down.
“They’re not though. But wouldn’t it be crazy if they were?” he said.
Styles added that he thinks if his 1D bandmates fondly.
“I love those guys. Niall, Liam, Louis…” Styles said before trailing off. “And uh…Ringo! Yeah, that’s it.”
Styles’ comparison of Zayn to Ringo is in reference to former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who made headlines for his abrupt departure from the group after a tense recording session in the late 1960s. Zayn shocked fans when he suddenly left One Direction in 2015, and the band recorded their last album without him.
On social media, fans had plenty to say about Harry’s not-so-subtle shade of Zayn. While some fans thought the joke was no big deal, others expressed disappointment that Harry would dole out a 1D diss.
“I died when he threw shade at Zayn,” one viewer wrote in the comments section to the SNL clip of Harry’s monologue.
“He is shameful,” another wrote.
Some Twitter users felt Harry’s joke was petty and noted that Zayn rarely talks about his 1D days. Others called out Harry for being unkind to his former bandmate.
Joke or not, imagine the twitter outrage if Zayn went on international TV and threw shade at Harry!
Zayn hasn't said a word about them yet with the exception of Niall they all can't seem to stop with the pettymess!
— Nuba (@2open2day) November 17, 2019
.@Harry_Styles arent you all about treating people with kindness??? but not when it comes to zayn i see
— zayn world domination (@zraffiti) November 17, 2019
if ur name is harry styles sleep with ur eyes open bc i’m coming for u
— zayn i love you (@zaynvgogh) November 17, 2019
Of course, the One Direction boys, who came together in 2010 under Cowell’s watch on The X Factor, have had beef for years so it’s not a huge surprise Harry would go there via Saturday Night Live’s writers.
Zayn previously told Us Weekly that he never had a close relationship with Harry when they were in One Direction, so he never expected to have a friendly relationship with him when he left the band.
In addition to his monologue, Harry Styles did double duty as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. The singer performed his solo songs “Lights Up” and “Watermelon Sugar.”