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5 Controversial Things Harry Styles Has Done — And Why People Love Or Hate Him For It

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5 Controversial Things Harry Styles Has Said & Done—And Why People Love Or Hate Him For It

Harry Styles is hands-down one of the biggest performers in this generation.

From being in the widely popular boy band, One Direction, to embarking on his solo career with two albums released and his third album to be released on May 20, Styles has achieved fame and praise from hoards of people.

Throughout his career, however, Styles has done many things that have landed in him a variety of different headlines, for things that have caused his fans to love him even more or for fans to hate him as well.

Here are 5 controversial things Harry Styles has done––and why people hate him or love him for it.

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1. Harry Styles wore women's clothing on the cover of Vogue.

Back in November 2020, Harry Styles made history as the first non-female solo cover star in the magazine's 128-year history. For his cover shoot, photographed by Tyler Mitchell, Styles was shot wearing a variety of dresses and brightly colored blouses.

While many people praised Styles for breaking down gender norms, there were also people who criticized Styles for wearing such feminine pieces, including many conservatives like Candace Owens, who called his Vogue cover an "outright attack" on "manly men," according to Insider.

His fans, along with other celebrities, immediately came to his defense. "Harry Styles is plenty manly, because manly is whatever you want it to be, not what some insecure, toxic, woman-hating, homophobic d---heads decided it was hundreds of years ago. He's 104% perfect," actress Jameela Jamil tweeted.

Styles himself also spoke out after the backlash, telling Variety, "To not wear [something] because it’s females’ clothing, you shut out a whole world of great clothes. And I think what’s exciting about right now is you can wear what you like. It doesn’t have to be X or Y. Those lines are becoming more and more blurred."

2. He made a joke about Roy Moore.

While guest-hosting on 'The Late Late Show' for James Corden back in 2017, Styles made a joke that didn't go down quite well with his fans, according to Daily Mail.

During his opening monologue, Styles decided to joke about Republican Senate Roy Moore, who had just lost to Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama, which is a typically red state. "If you're anything like me, the only thing that you and your friends are talking about at the moment is the Alabama senate race," Styles began.

While the jokes about Moore had started off pretty tame, they immediately turned a bit dark. 

"Many of you would think that I am unfamiliar with Roy Moore, being a Brit; that is not true. I am very familiar with Roy Moore. I've had to throw him out of more than a dozen of my concerts."

While the audience had laughed at the joke, many of Styles' fans on Twitter didn't share the same thought that the joke had been funny.

"A joke about a child rapist is not dry humor. It’s sick,' one Twitter user wrote, according to Daily Mail. 'You think that just because he’s Harry Styles he gets a pass well sis he doesn’t. You can keep screaming at a wall but the rest of us will hold him accountable."

Styles never issued an apology or acknowledgment after the backlash for the joke.

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3. Styles was accused of appropriating Native American culture.

Back when Styles was still in One Direction, the 'Watermelon Sugar' singer had posted a black-and-white photo of himself wearing a Native American headdress, immediately sparking backlash from fans.

According to Daily Record, a One Direction Twitter fan page, which had boasted almost 800,000 followers was the first to comment on it after the photo had been uploaded.

"Cultural appropriation is not nice, regardless of context or intent. let's leave it at that," the tweet read.

After receiving hoards of backlash and criticism, the post was promptly deleted, although no apology had been issued. 

4. He ignored fans holding BLM signs at his concert.

Back in 2017, after the release of his first solo album, Styles embarked on tour and started playing shows. While he has acknowledged LGTBQ flags, and spoken out in support of women, fans were slightly outraged when he chose to ignore the BLM flags in the crowd.

In a blog post written for Affinity, writer Victoria Moine questioned why Styles had chosen to remain silent when it came to Black Lives Matter issues, and why he hasn't used his massive platform to raise awareness.

During a concert in London, audience members had been given signs that read 'Black Lives Matter,' with one fan even throwing the sign onstage, although Styles didn't pick it up or look at it.

During an interview with The New York Times, Styles had been asked if any "outside chaos" had influenced his first solo album, referring to the issues of Brexit, BLM, and the American election, at the time.

Styles had given a vague answer, saying, "Sign of the Times” had been looking at “several different things.” When asked about what kind of things, he responded with “everything you [the interviewer] were talking about.”

5. Fans were upset after Styles announced he was performing at a Super Bowl event.

In 2020, Styles announced that he would be performing at a Super Bowl event in Florida, according to Metro, an announcement that was immediately met with backlash.

Many of his fans urged the singer to pull out of the performance due to the NFL's racist past, especially with how they treated former player Colin Kaepernick. 

The hashtag, 'HarryBackOut,' began trending on social media, with both Styles and Kaepernick fans urging him to cancel his performance. While many people understood it might be hard for him to not perform due to contractual agreements, they suggested that he donate any money made to BLM organizations.

One fan wrote, according to Metro, "POC fans have the right to feel valued and respected. And a lot of times they aren’t. I understand that Harry can’t back out bc of a contract but he can speak up more and he can donate to BLM or other causes."

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.