He’s not holding back! In a new TikTiok video, Liam Payne made a surprising joke about Zayn Malik leaving One Direction, and everyone is pretty shook over it. Yep, for those who missed it, the singer shocked the entire world when he announced that he was parting ways with the group in March 2015 (in the middle of their On the Road Again tour), and it was a moment that will forever leave 1D fans heartbroken.
“Are we absolutely sure what direction we’re going?!” Payne mouthed in the hilarious new clip, as the words “POV — the meeting after Zayn quit. forgot I had this in drafts,” flashed across the screen.
##sunshine 😂😂😂 forgot I made this a while ago hope you see the funny side
“Forgot I made this a while ago hope you see the funny side,” he captioned it.
Well, when the events first went down six years ago it was definitely painful for everyone, so we’re certainly glad he can joke about it now!
Why Did Zayn Malik Leave One Direction?
“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band,” Malik wrote on Facebook when he first announced his departure in 2015. “I’d like to apologize to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”
And months after he cut ties with the group, the “Pillowtalk” crooner opened up about his decision to Fader Magazine.
“I think the boys kind of knew in terms of the music, that wasn’t my cup of tea. They knew that, they were aware of that, always,” he explained. “They would try to facilitate certain things for me so I could sing R&B ad-libs here or there and that was nice but obviously I think they always knew. When I was leaving the band, they obviously didn’t want me to leave, but they couldn’t talk me out of it at that point. I had already made up my mind so I just left.”
Malik also claimed that he “never wanted to be in the band” during a 2016 interview, and that one definitely hurt.
“I think I always kind of wanted to go. From like the first year really, I never really wanted to be there in the band,” he admitted. “I just gave it a go because it was there at the time and then when I realized the direction we were going in with the music, I instantly realized it wasn’t for me because I realized I couldn’t put any input in. I couldn’t give my opinion on this or that because it didn’t fit the grain of what we were as a band or what we represented. So that’s when it became frustrating for me, that’s when I had to be like, ‘I’ve got to start thinking about myself.’”
Where Does His Relationship With Them Stand Now?
So where does his relationship stand with his former bandmates now, you ask? Well, when asked if he keeps in touch with the rest of the guys in November 2017, Malik admitted that he was no longer on speaking terms with them.
“Our relationships have definitely changed since we were in a band together, but I think that’s just life. Everybody grows up. Two of the guys have got kids now. But no, I don’t talk to any of them, really,” he revealed to Billboard.
He also explained in a November 2018 interview, “We went from theaters, to arenas, to stadiums — there was never any sort of bridge between. Just boom, boom, boom. I guess that kind of progression to any mind — but especially when you’re 17, 18 — it kind of affects you a little bit. People take it different ways — especially when there are five different personalities. The relationships had broken apart. I ain’t spoke to any of them for a long time, to be honest with you. That’s just the way it is. There’s things that happen and things that were said after I left… Snide things. Small things that I would never have expected.”
What Has Liam Payne Said About Him?
In 2017, Payne was also asked about where his relationship with Malik stood, and confirmed that he was no longer in contact with him.
“I haven’t spoken to Zayn in a while, he’s off doing his thing and more power to him. I think it is great, more power to him,” he said.
Plus, when he was asked about their friendship in 2019, Payne explained in another interview, “Zayn left so I haven’t seen him since then. I always feel like Zayn didn’t really feel being there, if that makes sense. We all had a good time, there were moments when it was absolute bliss but then obviously there were moments where it was like, ‘This is awful.’ For him I just think there were more moments where he didn’t really enjoy what he was doing. Fair play to him, he went off and did his own thing and he’s doing really well.”
However, when Malik announced that he had welcomed a baby girl named Khai with his girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, in October 2020, Payne reacted to the news during an Instagram Live!
“Oh yeah congratulations Zayn and Gigi as well. Actually yes, very lovely news this morning. Bless them, starting a family,” the 27-year-old gushed. So sweet!
Has Any Other Members Made Jokes About Zayn Malik Leaving?
Malik’s departure has definitely been a sore subject for the guys over the years, which is why this new video from Payne is pretty shocking. However, there was one other time that one of the 1D guys made a joke about it. Yep, back in 2019 while he was hosting Saturday Night Live, Harry Styles was able to laugh about the situation.
“I was in a band called One Direction. How crazy would it be if they were here tonight?” he said during his opening monologue. “Well, they’re not here. I love those guys. They’re my brothers. Niall, Liam, Louis… And, uh… Ringo. Yeah, that’s it.”
Payne later reacted to Styles’ SNL joke, and he said he thought it was pretty funny.
“I think it’s just a funny joke at the end of the day,” he said on Watch What Happens Live in December 2019. “Obviously Zayn’s circumstances for leaving were his own and it’s a different situation for all of us and I suppose we deal with it in a different way. I thought it was quite funny.”