MELLY! Did you read Harry's interview with Sunday Times Mag?? And what he said abt his relationship with Zayn???
Melly- I know you are going to spend much of the day talking about solo Liam (fwiw I think it is down to the music to save it as this wannabe gangster thing is slipping into bad caricature now) but as ever I am more interested in Zayn. I have been pretty surprised how far his team have gone to position him as the anti-Z with pretty gross good v bad connotations- shady asides in HDD leaks is one thing but it was pretty much the sole focus of his ST interview and pretty despicable if I am honest.
Yeah, you know what? Let’s talk about the Sunday Times interview, particularly these bits right here:
I ask him if he was aware of Zayn Malik’s eating disorder; he says no. Does he wish he had known so he could have done something to help? “I mean, yes, obviously. If anyone is ever going through anything, you always feel like you should know, so you could have done something. But it’s not always how it goes, is it? In the same way that I don’t talk about stuff, other people don’t always talk about stuff, and maybe that’s how they deal with stuff.”
He refuses to say a bad word about his life in One Direction. “It’s very hard to think of it as not this amazing thing. It’s really hard to complain.” While he and the other members of the band are “on hiatus”, Malik is the only one officially to quit. He has since made some rather disparaging comments in the press about One Direction’s music, and has also recorded a song with Taylor Swift — Styles’s ex — for the Fifty Shades Darker film soundtrack. Has he seen much of him recently? There is a pause.
“Um … not so much.” Is it a strained relationship? “It’s OK. I think we’re both happy for each other that we’re doing what we want to do and everyone’s having a good time.”
His smile returns when I ask him about the other three members of the band. “Everyone’s working so much at the moment, but I’ve seen them and we’ve hung out.”
There’s a real shit trend here in solo!Harry print interviews, and it started with Rolling Stone. For the three people who’ve been reading this blog for awhile, we’ve talked about how controlled print interviews are (interviews in general are, but especially so via print). The mention of Zayn in Rolling Stone was expected, but the Sunday Times addition kind of sealed some shit for me. Very clearly Zayn is an Active and Major Talking Point™ via the Sony publicity campaign.
There seems to be a dick formula to these - the surrounding mention of the apparently famous Harry Styles work ethic, juxtaposed against Zayn’s quitting and equally apparent problematicness* (never mind the fucky racial undertones of praising the white boy by putting down the brown boy). This then leads to the writer asking Harry a very leading question meant to support that, like “Harry, isn’t Zayn problematic?”
The resulting answer will inevitably be stilted and carefully worded (as would be the way for any leading question) , which, no matter how polite the answer, the writer will always comment on the discomfort or general tone.
Listen, I think “Sabotage” is a word thrown around this fandom pretty often for shit that I don’t think is actually sabotage. But, I also think the Harry vs. Zayn thing is crafted purely based on the Sony publicity department. With that, if Zayn’s got label issues like I’m pretty sure he does, having Harry deliver the message that Zayn is problematic is a good way to do that.
Regardless of where this is coming from, positioning Harry vs. Zayn in the way that Rolling Stone and now the Sunday Times did, with Sunday Times going so far as to mention Zayn’s eating disorder and phrase it so that Harry gains sympathy (what the fuck kind of white malarky is that), is fucked. There’s no other way to put it then its fucked.
With these celebrity profiles, there’s very clearly an agenda and an angle, and that’s most often the label and celebrity’s team’s agenda and angle. Judging by the blurbage in these interviews, that agenda is pushed at the continued expense of Zayn.
*I’m not saying Zayn is problematic - he isn’t – I’m saying the writer is, please don’t drag me