HBO's new series Euphoria has been generating a lot of buzz lately, and after Sunday night's episode (June 30), it's not hard to understand why. The episode included a fan fiction-inspired animated scene featuring One Direction members Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles, and much like many fanfics that have existed on the internet for years, the cartoon depicted a sexual relationship between the two bandmates.
In the episode, fanfic writer Kat Hernandez created a story about "Larry Stylinson," which was the ship name fans commonly used for Harry and Louis when One Direction was at the height of their fame. But when Zendaya's character, Rue Bennett, began talking about Kat's fanfic, an animation depicted a scene in which Harry comforts Louis backstage before a 1D concert and performs oral sex on him.
Inevitably, some Directioners were excited to see the term "Larry Stylinson" show up on their Twitter feeds again in 2019. But there were also many other fans who took to social media to express major concerns, like whether or not HBO even reached out to Louis and Harry for approval beforehand.
And when one fan highly doubted that Louis gave the scene the green light, the "Two of Us" singer confirmed that the cable network never asked for permission to use his name and likeness in the series. "I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it," he wrote.
Clearly, the teen drama — which is co-produced by Drake and explores topics including sex, drugs, social media, anxiety, and more — is fairly controversial. But even though Tomlinson didn't approve of the sexually explicit animated scene, there are others who've expressed the importance of it, as it shows the world of fanfics in a positive light. Barbie Ferreira, the actress who plays Kat, told The Hollywood Reporter, "When I first read the script, that was the first thing that popped out to me, because I can relate to that as a 22-year-old woman who lived through the One Direction age. It's such a reality for so many people, and so many children and teens that are fans just have this escapist world."
Barbie went on to explain that, for many teens, fanfics are away to escape reality, and sometimes, they need that more than anything. "You completely give yourself to this persona of a person you don’t even know, or five guys, and imaging the way they interact the escaping from your own reality," she added. "It's really interesting to me because I was definitely a part of that, where I wanted to escape my own life and focus on others because it was easier and felt more meaningful."
As for Styles, well, he's yet to comment on the episode, but of course, One Direction's fans (us included) would love to know his thoughts on the episode that, quite literally, set the internet on fire.