Sunday, 2 June 2013

All time low.

I'll begin by admitting that I've never been a fan of The Wanted. From the offset they've always seemed a bit devoid of anything special, while I've always found their laddishness to be a turn-off. Then along came the music videos for their singles Gold Forever and Glad You Came, both of which saw them ditch the "serious face" which had worked in their favour till that point and instead saw them try and show their fun side. Unfortunately for five #lads without a scrap of charisma between them, what this culminated in was what you see in Tiger Tiger every Friday night- boys pulling stupid faces and doing ridiculous dances to cover up the fact they've got nothing else to offer.

This was mildly annoying, I'll admit, but it made their fans happy, and they weren't hurting anyone at the end of the day, were they? No. No they were not. If their music video came on the TV, I changed the channel. And I got on with my day.


Unfortunately, when One Direction very quickly overtook The Wanted to become the biggest boyband in the world, essentially undermining all the hard work The Wanted put in, to make themselves known, especially around the release of their debut single All Time Low, a more unpleasant side to them surfaced.

I'm not entirely sure where it all started to go wrong for The Wanted and One Direction's relationship (if they''d had any sense they'd have staged some sort of cringey bromance thing from the beginning, uniting their deranged fans rather than setting them off against each other) but it seemed Twitter was involved. Where it all started to get on my tits, was when Louis from One Direction tweeted Tom from The Wanted (the biggest #lad of the bunch which is saying a lot considering Max George's Twitter bio boasts "I love football, dogs and  beer") in the midst of an argument saying "enjoy the press from this", referring to the inevitable media attention the argument would bring.

Here is Tom’s reply:


To put this in context, there is some speculation that Louis Tomlinson from One Direction might be gay. Some people base this on the close relationship he seems to have with bandmate Harry Styles, while others base it on his mannerisms or his speaking voice or the look in his eye or whatever (for a lot of the gay people pushing these rumours, it might well just be wishful thinking as Louis does have a lovely arse). Either way, it’s important to note that this is just speculation. If Louis Tomlinson has not said the words “I am gay” then it’s not really for us to speculate about whether or not he is, particularly given that, as far as I'm aware, he actually has a girlfriend.

What Tom Parker did with this tweet is what little boys do in playgrounds the world over. He’s ran out of valid points to make, so he’s making fun of Louis by suggesting that he’s a closeted homosexual. As if this in itself wasn’t offensive, he’s making his point by using the name of the “It Gets Better” campaign pejoratively, a campaign which- let’s not forget- was set up because teenage boys were getting bullied so aggressively because they were gay that they decided it would just be better to kill themselves. The “It Gets Better” campaign had the intention of challenging homophobic bullying and making the message public that it was OK to be gay. Tom Parker thinks that this is a joke, and that he can use his public Twitter account to make fun of someone for being gay, while also using a campaign to try and stop people killing themselves as part of this.

My view on this is that if you are so inarticulate that the only thing you have to throw at someone in an argument is “lol you’re gay”, then you are a fucking moron. If you ask me, there’s no coming back from that. The only way to even come close to saving face is by going “oh do you know what, what I said wasn’t OK actually”. You just have to eat shit and apologise. Although the tweet has since been deleted, Tom has never actually apologised to any of his gay fans who he may have upset with his comments.


Meanwhile, in the present day, the E! network has decided to give The Wanted their own reality show (God knows between Soccer AM and Celebrity Juice there just isn’t enough #banter on TV these days), which I imagine will be as entertaining as a root canal. This means the boys are currently doing the rounds on American TV trying to promote the show, including a fabulous interview on Chelsea Lately where they had the piss ripped out of them by the fabulous Chelsea Handler and were too thick to even realise it.

The Wanted are still out in America trying to make an impression on the American public, and the other night they made an appearance on Watch What Happens Live where the host Andy Cohen asked in a quick-fire segment “which member of One Direction is most likely to come out of the closet first?”


It took less than one second for Max to say “Louis”, while Tom nodded his head and they both smirked like cheeky little fucking school boys. It’s true that they weren’t the ones who brought it up and it’s true that they only had 30 seconds to answer as many questions as possible so they maybe weren’t thinking about their answer. But who are they hurting really? WELL LET’S THINK ABOUT IT SHALL WE...?

1. Louis Tomlinson
Louis Tomlinson is either straight right now or he is in the closet. Those are the two options. If he is straight, then The Wanted have twice now suggested something untrue about his personal life, which isn’t on. I don’t think it’s homophobic for someone to not want to be thought of as gay when they’re straight, and it must be annoying for him to have this speculation, particularly when a rival boyband are using it against you. If he actually is in the closet, then the chances are he’s not out because he’s scared of public reaction. When you’re already the butt of the joke for being gay when you haven’t even admitted you’re gay yet then the chances are it’s going to make you want to come out even less.

2. Gay people
Not once but twice now a member of the group The Wanted have used being gay as something to make fun of somebody with, and what’s worse is that they’ve done it in such a sneaky and inexplicit way that it’s very difficult to call them on it. You could say, particularly in the second instance, they were just answering a question that was put to them. But there’s more to it than that, there’s the smug look on Max’s face, Tom nodding his head in agreement. 

The message The Wanted are putting out is that being gay is enough to make you the subject of ridicule, and that is not OK. It shows a distinct lack of gratitude to the gay fans who buy their records and go to their concerts, and it shows a total disregard for young people watching who might be nervous about coming out because they’re scared of the abuse that will face them, or they’re worried they’ll no longer be taken seriously. Attitudes of people like The Wanted, who are in the public eye and are old enough to know better, are totally unhelpful

3. Themselves
Once again, The Wanted have not apologised to their gay fans for their remarks about Louis Tomlinson. And this is making me, and many others I’m sure, lose any respect they once had for the group. The fact of the matter is, if The Wanted want to ride on One Direction’s coat-tails and use that as their gimmick to get them to the top, then they can do it as far as I care, I’m no One Direction fan myself. But the fact is, they’re not insulting One Direction’s songs or music, or even taking the piss out of their terrifying diehard fans. What they’re doing is pointing right at one of One Direction and saying “lol he’s gay”. This makes them look unintelligent, inarticulate, moronic and immature. Frankly, they’re making themselves look like silly little boys with very juvenile attitudes.


The reason I’m posting this today is that today it was in the news that Max George would like to settle this argument by “blowing off steam” with a boxing match. This, in his head, is the best way to settle the feud. Apologising for their remarks, refusing to answer any more questions about One Direction- those aren’t options. 

Instead, The Wanted are showing that they value things like strength and traditional masculinity, and that if you’re going to stray from that by articulating your arguments or, heaven forbid, being gay, then they feel this is something that should be picked up on, held up and ridiculed.

The point is, I used to be mildly irritated by The Wanted and now, unless they’re willing to apologise for their homophobia, I find them to be a bunch of repulsive and moronic creeps. They’re supposed to be role models to young people, and what they’re doing is gaining exposure and media attention from being homophobic. Who the fuck do they think is buying their merchandise?



So my message to The Wanted is this: stop being fucking morons, apologise for your remarks and stop being so ungrateful to the people who are keeping your careers going.

Alreet?

3 comments:

  1. Everything they do just screams "jealousy" and it's not winning them any fans. :(

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  2. May I say YES.

    Also, the Wanted are picking on boys a fair bit younger than them for something that is simply NOT an insult. Plus they all seem like douchebags. And make shitter music than 1D. And are less attractive.

    I shall take comfort in the fact that One Direction are likely to stick around a LOT longer than The Wanted (and if they don't it'll be in a splitting-up-and-girls-crying way, whereas I feel The Wanted will be I'm A Celebrity types in the near future).

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  3. I'm glad I read this. I have never liked The Wanted, and believe me, I have a predilection for liking boybands, but I have had an increasing unease about their snotty attitude, which you have summed up here quite nicely. When One Direction first started taking over the world, The Wanted's dismissive take seemed to be "Well, yes, the little girls like them, but unlike us they aren't serious musicians creating great music for musically sophisticated adults." Never mind that The Wanted were just another boy band, and not a particularly interesting one. Never mind that the same anonymous songwriters who write songs for 1D were churning them out for The Wanted as well. Never mind that the demographic that were interested in 1D (young girls and gay men) was the exact same demo who liked 1D. But the homophobia that they throw out is unforgivable. No, it should not be considered an insult to call someone gay, but the point is that The Wanted boys INTEND it to be an insult. And their final solution? Violence, of course. How far is that from Chris Brown beating up RiRi on the way to the Grammys? Is slugging someone in the face any better if you slug a man instead of a woman? The fact is, The Wanted have already had their moment. I don't know how their careers are going in the U.K. but there seems to be a false equivalency scenario going on between them- both boy bands, both "broke America." In truth, The Wanted never broke America. They are nowhere near the levels of fame and popularity of One Direction in America. They are a one-hit wonder. They have had one, and only one hit song here. Zero hit albums, zero sold-out headlining tours. They don't have pop-up stores, dolls, branded clothing at Target, Walmart, and K-mart. They aren't on the covers of magazines and the shelves of bookstores. Ask anyone on the street to name the members of The Wanted and they won't be able to do it. I can't do it, and I can tell you George Shelley's birthday. The Wanted are so pathetic that they are doing a reality show on the E! network in the time slot usually reserved for Celebrity Rehab. Eventually, ID will fade, but by then The Wanted will have been completely forgotten. I've forgotten them already.

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