Though One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has repeatedly denied reports he and former bandmate Harry Styles are in a romantic relationship, that didn’t stop HBO’s “Euphoria” from depicting the two pop singers as lovers in an episode that aired Sunday.
Styles and Tomlinson were featured in the storyline for the “Made You Look” episode about Kat Hernandez (played by Barbie Ferreira), a character who is credited with the creation of “Larry Stylinson,” a mashup of the pop stars’ names. The nickname has famously been used by One Direction fans who’ve “shipped” ― or fantasized a romantic relationship between ― the two men.
“Made You Look” featured an animated sequence that brought some of Kat’s fan fiction to life, including a moment in which Styles and Tomlinson were shown engaged in a sex act. Immediately after the episode aired Sunday, One Direction fans blasted the show on social media for what they believed was going too far.
Tomlinson himself expressed his disapproval on Monday, responding to a fan who suggested he and Styles had given permission to the show’s creators for the explicit scene.
Tomlinson and Styles have been dogged by the relationship rumors for years. In 2016, Tomlinson appeared to use Instagram’s moderating features to block his followers from using the word “Larry” in their comments on his photos, E! Online reported at the time.
The singer shrugged off the reports again in 2017, calling them “a little disrespectful to the ones that I love,” including girlfriend Eleanor Calder.
“I think it’s one of these things that people love to buy into, but in reality, obviously there’s no truth to it,” he said. “Obviously.”
“Euphoria” has come under critical scrutiny for its portrayal of violence, drug use and teen sexuality. The series, which debuted June 16, follows 17-year-old Rue Bennett (Zendaya), a recovering drug addict as she navigates the pressures of high school.