One Direction fans are a famously passionate bunch, known for strenuously defending the floppy-haired boy band from any and all critics. Now they're directing their outrage at an unlikely target: "The Daily Show."
In a segment Tuesday night about the proliferation of terrorist groups in the Middle East, correspondent Jessica Williams joked about a new "supergroup" consisting of "one member each from ISIS, El Nusra, Al Qaeda, Hamas, One Direction and the Zetas drug cartel."
Though it was an off-hand quip that played off the absurd idea of the pop group being tied to terrorism, it has Directioners more worked up than Harry Styles' relationship with Taylor Swift.
They point to the fact that one of the members of the group, the dreamy Zayn Malik, is of Pakistani descent and is a practicing Muslim -- one who was once even accused of "pimping Islam" to his admirers by a blogger on the far right.
Although it's highly unlikely "The Daily Show" writers were actually suggesting that Malik -- or any of the One Direction gang -- is actually involved in Islamic extremism, the bit has triggered a viral backlash reminiscent of the #CancelColbert controversy that erupted this spring following a "Colbert Report" segment lampooning Asian stereotypes.
Fans have registered their outrage on Twitter, Instagram and other social networks using the hashtags #TheDailyShowGoneTooFar, #ZaynSavesNotKills, and #ZaynDefenseSquad, all of which were trending as of Friday morning.
So has "The Daily Show" really gone too far? You can judge for yourself by watching the clip here.
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