Simon Cowell and Louis
I just listened to Louis’ interview with Matt Edmonson (x) after reading about Louis’ story about Simon apparently flying him out to Los Angeles to give him a telling off for having a couple of beers before a show.
Aside from the fact that a story about a grown man flying an eighteen year-old boy across the world to have a one on one meeting is so incomprehensibly disturbing, there are a couple things that lead me to believe that while I don’t doubt that Simon called Louis into a private meeting in this manner, that there were many things about this story that weren’t true. This is purely my speculation based on having worked for a psychopath like Simon Cowell as well as having dated someone who was on the X-Factor with One Direction in 2010 and who told me a very similar story, so I’ll start with that.
During Bootcamp, immediately prior to One Direction being formed, Louis and another guy from the boys category at Bootcamp bought a bunch of alcohol and threw a party. Because the boys category had multiple boys under 18, when they got caught both Louis and this other guy were in a lot of trouble and the other guy was told that they were both being kicked off of the show. This guy was not only kicked off the show and sent home immediately, but none of the footage of his auditions was included in the final cuts and you can only see him vaguely in the background. Louis, on the other hand, was probably given a very stern talking to, but they kept him for the taping of the end of bootcamp which he was apparently being cut from anyways until Simon Cowell “made a quick decision” and put One Direction together. This is one of the reasons I will never believe that the forming of this band was impromptu. So you’re telling me that Simon Cowell decided to put a boyband together that consisted of four 16-17 year-olds and then thought, “Oh I’ll add that 18 year old kid who gave all of them booze last night as well.” I don’t think so.
If I were to guess, and this is purely a guess, I would say that Simon Cowell himself probably gave Louis an off-screen and completely unfriendly version of what he did to Zayn on-camera when he refused to dance at the auditions. Simon Cowell is not a nice man. He isn’t empathetic, and he doesn’t give a shit about anyone. So WHY would he put a kid who got busted for getting everyone drunk and another kid with aggressive stage fright into a band if he hadn’t already formed this band prior to bootcamp even starting?
That being said, this story that Louis told is prefaced with him saying, “I don’t think I’ve ever spoken about it before…just thinking if I can…” which to me sounds like, “Give me a second to figure out a way to tell this horrible story about Simon Cowell in a way that doesn’t break my contract that says I can never in my life say a bad word about him anywhere in this universe.”
Louis has mentioned that as the oldest member of One Direction he was the one who stood up to the label the most when they were just starting. As previously mentioned, I worked for someone like Simon Cowell and he refused to talk to groups of people about serious issues or problems. If he knew that a few of us were upset he’d corner us individually or take one of us out to dinner so that he could gaslight you into thinking that he wasn’t the problem, that the others were just influencing you because they were jealous or he’d give you a raise or a promotion. Simon Cowell is exactly the type of man to divide and conquer groups of people who are mad at him. Look at his circulating panel of judges. He has a few loyal minions like Cheryl Cole, but it’s not surprising that Nick Grimshaw who takes a couple jabs at Simon here and there didn’t last longer than a season. Simon is not the kind of person who likes strong-minded people and Louis “can’t bite me tongue” Tomlinson was probably as big of a thorn in his side as Dan Wootton made him out to be. I think the only hint of truth that Dan has ever written was that Louis was difficult for Sony to deal with. However, I don’t think this band would have had the success they had if it weren’t for them completely breaking the mould of a typical boyband and eventually demanding that they write their own music.
What is so unsettling about this story is that it sounds like a classic story from a victim of emotional abuse. Like, “Oh I did something wrong and then I was punished in this kind of weird, but totally okay way.” The man I worked with who was the president of the company and used similar tactics made me believe that I was the problem in every situation to the point that when he eventually got violent the first thing I thought when he hit me in the face was, “Oh my god, I’ve made him so mad. How am I going to apologise?” I was 25. Louis was 18 when this story apparently happened. 18 when Simon Cowell began these little one-on-one meetings that lead to the visible transformation of a loud and flamboyant boy to (relatively) quiet skater boy Louis circa 2014.
Simon was not One Direction’s manager. There was absolutely no reason for him to be talking to Louis alone like that. Not to mention that, legally speaking, I’m quite sure that a minor would have to have a guardian present for any such kind of meeting (pretty sure, but not positive), but Louis being the only adult would be the only one Simon could manipulate this particular way during the early days of One Direction.
There is just something inherently sketchy and unsettling about this entire dynamic, and this story seems like a very sugar-coated version of something much darker.
And that’s what I think about that.