Hey! Haha apparently I just can't stay away from your ask. Since there are many different scenarios as to how the Quitting played out (planned for a while, a stunt was planned but then something went down BTS to explode into the 'quit', his leave and then Quit all spontaneous, etc) I'm wondering that with a bit of hindsight what you believe to be most fitting. I hope that makes sense, hah. X
Hi rogueziam! Nice to see you again! You’re always welcome at my blog.
So this is something that I and many of us who are watching the stunt have discussed on and off, and it seems our opinions all change as its plays out. Notably, it was a popular opinion in the first month or so after the “quitting” announcement that the stunt was put together haphazardly by M!M, but that is not as popular a view anymore.
Right now, I think that the stunt was probably planned well in advance by the new team with M!M’s cooperation. That being said, I do think the stunt has been marked throughout by what look like disagreements between M!M and the new team, so while the stunt may have been planned well in advance many of its minutiae have probably been negotiated along the way.
Certain things point to careful planning:
- The Coca Cola/Toyota commercials: Since these ad campaigns were certainly planned and signed well before the boys, including Zayn, were in Asia to film them, I imagine Coca Cola and Toyota were notified about the stunt to prevent legal issues. It is also rather fishy that both Coca Cola and Toyota based their ad campaigns on friendship, since the Zayn “quitting” stunt is at heart a betrayal-of-friendship narrative. Since Zayn apparently filmed the Coca Cola commercials, it is possibly Coca Cola was notified suddenly, but I doubt this.
- We Love Pop: In hindsight I think We Love Pop and the wave of stunts (Elounomore, Lauren Richardson, Zayn’s recall to the UK, etc.) were at least partly if not entirely carefully planned. They even played out in extended arcs: Lauren Richardson will return and we will see what role she plays; it looks now like she was always planned to return. Why the stunt would have We Love Pop, best known for The Ziam Kiss, as its prelude remains nebulous. (It was and still is popularly speculated to be “seeding” for Larry and/or Ziam coming out.)
- Zaughty: Since many invested parties (i.e. Sony) and Naughty Boy himself stand to gain from both Naughty Boy’s ventures and One Direction’s ventures doing well, and since they are connected by Naughty’s work for the band as well as the Zaughty collab, I suspect his participation was negotiated well in advance.
There are other examples, but these three are particularly salient.
I do think the profound shadiness of the prelude, announcement and first few days after—which were initially explained as sudden—were M!M’s responsibility and possibly unplanned for by the new team. For example, it was once popular to consider the stunt a desperation move from M!M to force Zayn to cooperate with something, specifically Zerrie stunting, because the announcement was run at a time when Zerrie stunting started (Lauren Richardson) only to stall (Zayn’s recall to the UK). Furthermore, many who considered Zayn’s “quitting” to be a stunt actually thought so very early on just from the way the announcement and the first few days after were handled—with absurd sloppiness.
I suspect the new team has had to adjust for M!M’s work (and vice-versa), evidenced in competing narratives and what look to me like clap backs (the Zerrie sex tape vs. “Perrie bans the boys”; “just four super-sad lads”; “our brother Zayn” and the Ziam media blitz). So again, while I think the stunt was mostly planned well in advance by the new team and M!M, along the way it seems there have been disagreements between them that may have influenced the stunt’s details.