On Friday morning, as you took your mid-breakfast Twitter perusal, you may have noticed a certain hashtag trending called #TheDailyShowGoneTooFar. If you're like me you were both intrigued by the improper use of grammar (it's a long hashtag already, just add in a nice little "has" there in the middle) and the fact that this could be the second coming of #CancelColbert. But if you took the plunge and clicked, what you found probably surprised you: One Direction fans going nutso about a joke Jessica Williams made on an episode of The Daily Show earlier this week. Apparently, One Direction fans think The Daily Show called Zayn Malik a terrorist, and what do ya know? That isn't what happened. At all.
The joke in question involved Williams talking about how terrorist groups in the Middle East, like ISIS, are often formed by broken off sects of other groups. She makes up names of groups that are more and more ridiculous and at one point says that there is a new group made up of, "One member each from ISIS, al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, Hamas, One Direction, and the Zetas drug cartel." As you can see, the joke here is that these are all a bunch of groups. One Direction could be replaced with The Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, Destiny's Child, 5SOS — the list could go on. The point is, it was supposed to be funny because a random musical group was quickly thrown in there with all the others pointing out the roundabout way the government and media talk about war and terrorist groups.
For One Direction fans to say that the joke was targeting Zayn Malik is problematic for two reasons. For one, because they are the ones who made the assumption that this member of the group would be specifically targeted because he is Muslim, and even more obviously, because it assumes that The Daily Show cares enough about One Direction to know one of the members is Muslim and to go out of their way to make what would have been a vague, yet horribly racist joke about him.
So, One Direction fans, let it be know that The Daily Show does not care about One Direction. They did not target Malik because they probably do not know Malik exists. The joke was not about him. And I would like to add that, yeah, they probably do know about Harry Styles because, well, he's Harry Styles.
But Directioners on Twitter already have their opinions formed and it seems this thing is snowballing.
Keep in mind they literally didn't say his name.
What's most disconcerting about this is the sheer number of young fans who are willing to believe whatever the fandom says is true. A simple look at the video or willingness to use some quick critical thinking skills and this wouldn't be an issue. Come on, teens of the world! Take the next step in the thought process. The future needs you.