One dumb act after another: One Direction in drug and race controversy

British Group One Direction perform in concert in Santiago, on April 30, 2014.

First it was the row over drugs.

Now, boy band One Direction is embroiled in another controversy, this time over race.

Band member Louis Tomlinson apparently used a racial slur in a video of him and bandmate Zayn Malik, 21, smoking a "joint".

The English-Irish band are currently working their way through the European leg of their mammoth Where We Are tour. They are performing in 69 shows at key venues across Europe, North America and South America, the Mail Online reported.

They are set to visit Singapore for the first time next March, and tickets will be going on sale this Sunday.

Tomlinson, 22, came under fire for using the word "n**", which fans say is a shortened version of the N-word.

The video, taken during the band's tour of Peru last month, was revealed by MailOnline on Wednesday night.

In the footage, they can be seen lighting up a roll-up, said to be marijuana, and passing it around in the car, which is taking them to the Estadio Nacional. They performed there to a 40,000 capacity crowd.

Tomlinson then referred to the "joint", saying: "It's green only, n**."

Fans, British MPs and anti-racism campaigners have demanded apologies from the band in light of the video. They felt that the boy band had abused their position as role models.


Fans have also apparently sent messages to Simon Cowell, who owns their record label, urging him to take action over the use of a form of the N-word.

Mr John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, called on the disgraced band members to say sorry.

"People look up to them and admire them. If they have said this, they should make it clear that they accept they said it.

"They have got to understand that use of terms like this is very offensive to people," he said.

A band follower, Jimmy, tweeted: "Being an African American One Direction fan I do not appreciate Louis saying the word 'n**'."

Sandra Arteaga wrote: "Worst part about the video was hearing Louis say 'n**'. Really disappointed in Louis for saying "n**". Lost the little respect I had for him."

One Direction has accumulated a huge following online since coming in third on reality TV show The X Factor four years ago. Between them, the five-member band have 85 million followers on Twitter.

This article was first published on May 30, 2014.
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