Did HBO Get Approval For A One Direction Sex Scene?

Euphoria’s receiving complaints for including an animated Larry Stylinson scene without contacting the singers. / Image via HBO

Euphoria and HBO are in trouble with a rising tide of angry One Direction fans.

The provocative new HBO series Euphoria was not afraid to get adult themed and controversial from its start late last month. In just three episodes, the show has included a scene with 30 uncensored penises, several sex scenes (including a statutory rape scene), and other mature themes for a teen drama. But, apparently, it’s a Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson fantasy scene that was the last straw.

Last Sunday’s Euphoria episode, titled “Made You Look,” played with several of the show’s main themes. Namely, the blossoming sexualities of teenagers and their dual existences online and in real life. These two themes were especially poignant during a scene with character Kat Hernandez. Kat is seen writing fanfiction about former One Direction stars Louis and Harry. Euphoria then takes the scene up a notch by having Zendaya’s character Rue narrating the scene over an animation.

The point of the scene, depicting how fan fiction was/is used by the millennial and Gen Z generations to explore their sexualities and online confidence, was clearly on display the entire time. That’s something that Producer Sam Levinson wanted to focus on while talking to the L.A. Times about the episode.

“Something that I thought was a fascinating or exciting idea was to take this burgeoning curiosity about sexuality that’s ultimately framed through the lens of fan fiction and allow it to come to life … It’s sort of what Kat’s dream would be if she could see an animation of one of her stories. That was the impetus behind it. It’s sort of allowing her wishes to come true. The idea behind it was a mixture of slightly rough animation and the surrealistic beauty of something like ‘Belladonna of Sadness,’ where you have animated images exploding into other things and there’s an element of surrealism to it,” said Levinson.

 But, the animated depiction of Louis and Harry having oral sex did not sit well with One Direction fans. And as you expect, they decided to express their negative opinions on Twitter.

Gay rumors have spread around Harry and Louis for several years now. The ship name between the two, Larry Stylinson, was even coined at some point. The conversation around their relationship became so heated that Louis was often seen waving the idea off. Unfortunately for him, Euphoria then fanned the flames again. And as Louis says on Twitter, he wasn’t contacted about the scene before it appeared on screen.

“I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it,” wrote Tomlinson.

Now, Tomlinson’s fans are telling him to sue for using his likeness in such a sexual way without his permission. Meanwhile, others are asking for permission to start harassing the show like an angry mob with digital pitchforks.

We can acknowledge that the writers were simply trying to reflect the truth of how teenagers express themselves online through fan fiction. And let’s be honest, you can bet there were plenty of teens writing up Larry Stylinson fanfiction a few years ago. But, the fact that the show didn’t get permission from Harry or Louis before depicting them in such as sexual way is sloppy on the production’s part.

Frankly, Louis could have a case here if he did pursue a lawsuit. Especially considering he’s been so vocal against the gay rumors before. Though, Euphoria could counter that claim by explaining the point of the scene and stating that the relationship’s depiction is a parody. But who knows who would win in that court battle.

Ultimately, a creative way of representing the blossoming sexualities of teens is getting pushback because of the lack of communication. And we’re not sure who’s side is in the right here. What are your thoughts?

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