louis tomlinson is not happy with the harry styles sex scene in ‘euphoria’
The animated sequence from the most recent episode of HBO’s teen drama revived Larry Stylinson.
No matter how hard he tries, Louis Tomlinson can’t escape the spectre of Larry Stylinson. This time, Larry -- the “ship” name fans concocted for Louis and bandmate Harry Styles during One Direction’s era as the biggest boyband in existence -- has reared its head once more during an episode of HBO’s new teen drama, Euphoria.
Starring Zendaya, Euphoria follows a group of high schoolers as they navigate drug abuse, sex, social media, pornography and general angst. One character Kat, played by Barbie Ferreira, feels like an outcast at school, but finds fame online as a writer of erotic One Direction fan fiction. In the show’s third episode, which aired on Sunday in America, Kat’s steamy slash fiction was animated on screen for viewers to see: namely, drawings of Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson getting it on.
For One Direction fans, this animated sequence was too much. On Twitter, they dubbed the scene “embarrassing”. “if euphoria really has an animated larry sex scene i am going to be LIVID that’s so disrespectful and fucking GROSS,” wrote one user.
Another fan, who called themselves a “Larrie”, a Louis and Harry shipper, also said that fans weren’t responsible for the scene. “as a larrie, i'd like to say that i do NOT want euphoria to have a larry sex scene,” they wrote. “it's fucking disrespectful&disgusting that they think it's okay. it's also disgusting to assume that larries WANT it&to blame us for it. we're not to blame, the producers are. disgraceful.”
The question that lingered was whether Harry Styles or Louis Tomlinson had been consulted before images of their likeness were drawn engaged in sexual acts before being broadcast. Apparently, the answer is no. One fan asked Louis directly on Twitter, to which he said: “I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it.”
Louis has previously been dismissive of the Larry Stylinson rumours and fan fiction. In an interview with The Sun in 2017, he said that the rumours that the pair were romantically linked had affected his relationship with his bandmate. “It created this atmosphere between the two of us where everyone was looking into everything we did,” he said. “It took away the vibe you get off anyone. It made everything a little bit more unapproachable.”
Speaking to The Los Angeles Times, Euphoria showrunner and writer, Sam Levinson, said that he had decided to include the scene because “something that I thought was a fascinating or exciting idea was to take this burgeoning curiosity about sexuality, that’s ultimately framed through the lens of fan fiction, and allow it to come to life”. He explained that for the animation, he was inspired by the 1973 erotic and psychedelic animated film, Belladonna of Sadness.
Nevertheless, the scene has once again raised questions about the ethics of fan fiction, especially when it involves the sex lives of IRL individuals. And while the outcry from “Larries” about its inclusion in Euphoria is questionable, perhaps even hypocritical (they did invent and perpetuate the Larry Stylinson myth, after all), the scene has still upset One Direction fans, and Louis Tomlinson, too. Harry Styles, meanwhile, we can only assume remains unbothered.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.