Note: This article contains graphic, sexual content that some readers may find offensive. Please read at your own discretion.
The third instalment of HBO‘s latest teen drama series Euphoria — which is produced by Toronto’s own Drake — aired on Sunday night and featured a scene involving the likeness of former One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson that he claims he did not approve of the network using.
The episode, entitled “Made You Look,” featured a scene in which high school student Kat Hernandez is writing a fan-fiction story about an imagined sexual relationship between Tomlinson and his former bandmate Harry Styles while they are on tour together as One Direction.
As main character Rue Bennett — portrayed by Zendaya — narrates the scene, a very graphic, animated depiction of the fictional story is shown and features Styles performing fellatio on Tomlinson before hitting the stage in order to calm his nerves.
When asked about the scene on Twitter, Tomlinson, 27, wrote: “I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it.”
The explicit, anime-style scene was shared by many fans across various different social media platforms.
Actress Barbie Ferreira, who plays Hernandez, recently spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about the scene.
She said: “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,” she continued. “You completely give yourself to this persona of a person you don’t even know, or five guys, and imagining the way they interact, the escaping from your own reality.”
Ahead of the episode’s premiere, Ferreira took to Instagram to tease the scene. She was pictured kneeling down next to a cardboard cutout of Styles, 25.
“Tonight’s episode of @euphoria without context,” wrote the actress in the caption.
“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,” Ferreira said in the Hollywood Reporter interview.
Thousands of dedicated One Direction fans took to Twitter to show their support for the singers. As a result of Tomlinson’s disapproval, many of them hit back against HBO, shaming the TV giant.
Here’s what some supporters had to say:
One fan named Giselle Garbaccio even started a Change.org petition on Sunday night, demanding HBO remove the explicit scene from the episode.
“This is beyond disgusting and shouldn’t have been incorporated into the show,” she wrote. “I’d like to see it be removed or at least altered in the show.”
“Ideally, I’d like to see the entire scene removed,” she continued. “I’d like to see HBO remove the names of the characters as a last resort.”
As of this writing, more than 15,000 people have signed the online document, with a current goal of 25,000.
Global News has reached out to HBO and representatives of both Tomlinson and Styles. As of this writing, none of them has commented on the matter.