To be perfectly honest, when the news first broke that two members of One Direction were smoking weed in a leaked video, my initial thought was so what? You know, after I finished laughing. You mean to tell me that a bunch of guys who would be in college right now if they weren't richer and more famous than we'll ever be were lighting up? Perhaps this would have been more shocking had my own dorm room not constantly smelled like marijuana thanks to my enthusiastic neighbors. 20 year olds getting high? Tell me something I don't know.
However, the controversy surrounding the leaked video has only deepened even with all the time people have had to get over it and despite radio silence from the band. In fact, the weed scandal is so huge that it's ballooned into several other little scandals in the One Direction fandom that are of varying levels of seriousness. Of course, that's only if you even consider the leaked video to be relatively serious to begin with, a perception that seems to rely heavily on how old you are. Much of the outcry seems to be coming from their younger fans or from parents while people in their actual age bracket either don't care (because, hello, it's One Direction) or are deeply amused (who knew One Direction could be so cool).
With the dust still refusing to settle, there are some highlights — so to speak — of the situation that everyone seems to be finding the most interesting to talk about. So, next time you're in a position where One Direction comes up, here are the main questions burning in everyone's minds.
1. Why Do We Even Care?
Not only are Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson far from being the first boys of their age group to experiment with marijuana, they're far from the only celebrities to do so. Sure, one could argue that most celebrities who admit to lighting up aren't as beloved by children as One Direction are, but how is that their fault? Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber both managed to get away with it and they both started with a core demographic of preteens.
2. What About Niall Horan's Charity Work?
The same day of the now infamous video leak, Niall Horan and the rest of the band were participating in a charity football game in order to raise money for some of Horan's favorite charities. Horan ended up earning £300,000, or over $500,000, for Irish Autism Action from those ticket sales and visited a fan sick with cancer over the weekend. Sadly, that was incredibly overshadowed by Malik and Tomlinson's video to the point where it was a full day later before Twitter began to trend NiallRaised300KWriteAboutThat. The fact that this is trending in the United States while Zayn & Louis continues to trend worldwide says it all.
3. Was #CutForZouis an Actual Thing?
The most disturbing thing to come out of the leaked video controversy was this reaction to it. #CutForZouis was just one of the many Twitter trends that rose after the news broke and it featured, horrifyingly enough, people tweeting pictures of what was presumably their own arms and wrists cut and leaking blood. The general idea appeared to be to self-harm until Malik and Tomlinson stopped abusing drugs. If it was real, why was no one talking about that? If it was fake, why would you joke about that?
4. Who Leaked the Video?
This appears to be the aspect of the scandal that the band itself is most concerned with and for good reason. The only statement that we've gotten from One Direction so far came from their rep, who said that "this matter is in the hands of our lawyers". Tomlinson was the one filming the video and we can pretty much assume it wasn't him. Probably. So, who was it? And how much legal trouble are they in?
5. Did Louis Tomlinson Say a Racial Slur?
The transcript that went with the Daily Mail article which broke the news and the video featured Louis Tomlinson saying the word "Nig", which many people assume was a shortened form of a racial slur. There are some who watched the video and think he was saying "Nick" and some who think that "Nig" is a shortened version of some other word or that it means something else in England. This debate seems a lot more compelling than whether or not Tomlinson and Malik should be smoking weed.
6. Will This Ruin 1D's Image?
Fans range from amused to disappointed and parents are terrified of the effect that Tomlinson and Malik's casual drug use is going to have on their children. Think of the children! The repercussions of the leaked video could be as simple as giving people something to talk about until their next single drops to as complicated as causing trouble for them in the United States due to our stringent anti-drug laws. And what will this do to One Direction's fan base? Will they lose the children and gain some young adults? Only time will tell.